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close this bookOutreach No. 96 - Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances - Part 1: Working and Street Children (New York University - TVE - UNEP - WWF, 68 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
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View the documentHow to use OUTREACH packs
View the documentOUTREACH packs on Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances
View the documentHow to use OUTREACH pack no. 96
View the documentArticle: Street children
View the documentFacts and opinions: Street children: the numbers
View the documentEducational resources: In the shadow of the city
View the documentClass activity: Who is a street child?
View the documentQuestions and answers: Where do street children come from?
View the documentClass activities: Urban and rural life
View the documentArticle: Child labour
View the documentClass activity: The causes of child labour exploitation in poor countries
View the documentArticles, interviews and activities: Lives of children in especially difficult circumstances: Part 1: street children and child labourers
View the documentArticle and activities: Street educators
View the documentArticle: Informal education for Nairobi's street children
View the documentEducational resources: A comic about street children
View the documentQuestions and answers: Questions children ask about sexual exploitation
View the documentPractical guidelines: Practical advice for AIDS educators working with street children
View the documentArticle: Helping street children
View the documentArticle: A self-help project for street children in India
View the documentActivities: Child-to-Child activities for children who live and work on the streets
View the documentArticle and activities: Convention on the Rights of the Child
View the documentArticle: Empowering children
View the documentEducational resources: African jigsaw
View the documentArticle: The children's movement in Brazil
View the documentSuggestions for action: How city mayors can help
View the documentRadio spots: Life is harder in the city
View the documentVideo resource: The Karate Kids project
View the documentPublications: Innocenti Studies: the urban child in difficult circumstances
View the documentFilm, video and radio resources: Children in difficult circumstances: street and working children
View the documentOrganisations: The Consortium for street children
View the documentOrganisations: CHILDHOPE

Class activity: Who is a street child?


Study Ideas No. 1: Street Children produced by CHILDHOPE Guatemala. It may be reproduced for non-profit educational purposes in low income countries provided credit is given to CHILDHOPE. Copies of reproduced materials would be appreciated by CHILDHOPE. Please direct all correspondence to CHILDHOPE USA, c/o U.S. Committee for UNICEF, 333 East 38th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016, USA


teachers, youth workers:

As an exercise to help students become aware of street children

Read the text below, and then discuss whether or not each person described is a street child:

* Raoul leaves his home every morning at six o'clock to go to the main street in town. He likes to be there early because then he can earn more money. People who work in offices like to start the day with clean shoes, so, before they go to work, they have their shoes shined by Raoul and his friends. There are customers all day, but not as many as in the mornings. Every morning when Raoul leaves home he hopes to return late in the evening with lots of money.

* Helen is just leaving home. She has an appointment with her friends on the street corner near the cinema. Almost every night they meet each other there. They just talk a little bit and have fun, and at about ten o'clock everyone goes home. These appointments are important to Helen because she feels comfortable with her friends.

* “Oeaaah,” Patricia wakes up because the sun is shining on her face. It is hard to get up for Luis is lying across her and she does not want to waken him. As usual, she is the first of the group who is awake. She likes to feel the sun on her body because her bones feel stiff due to the cold of last night. Today she has to find a piece of cardboard to lie on. It will protect her a little bit against the cold pavement.

* Jessica is a child who likes to play outside. When she does not have to go to school you can find her outside. She is good at thinking of funny games she can play alone or with other children. The only time she goes inside is when she has to eat or to sleep. For Jessica, the street is one big playground.

* Victor spends most of his time on the street. He has been absent from school for weeks, and since last week he has not been home. He sleeps with friends, but realises that he cannot always stay with his friends. So tonight he will sleep in a street inn run by a programme for homeless people.

* Mike is in a bad mood. He wanted to see a film on television but his father told him to wash the car. Afterwards, he will get some extra spending-money, but at this moment he wishes he were watching the movie instead of wasting his time on the street washing a car.

* John is busy. He is looking after cars and one of the car owners asked him to wash his car. John is always very happy when somebody asks him to wash the car because he gets paid more money than if he only looks after them. He starts to whistle because he feels so happy.


Encourage students to give reasons for their answers. While answers are given below, be careful not to dismiss answers that differ from the ones given. Perhaps, your students have a very good reason for thinking a different way.

RAOUL: YES. He has to spend his time on the street in order to support his family.

HELEN: NO. Helen lives in a house. She leaves her home for her own pleasure.

PATRICIA: YES. She spends twenty-four hours a day on the street.

JESSICA: NO. She spends lots of time on the street, but whenever she wants to she can go home. She does not have to be on the streets to work or because she is not welcome at home.

VICTOR: YES. Victor is a street child in an industrialized country. Since he left his family the only places to spend the night are with generous friends or programmes for homeless adults. In the daytime he can be found on the street.

MIKE: NO. He is working on the street but only occasionally, to do odd-jobs for his parents.

JOHN: YES. John is also washing a car, but not his father's car. He has to look after cars and wash them to earn money. It is not an occasional odd-job, but a daily necessity.