Effectiveness of Street Youth Integration in East Africa | Richard Muko OCHANDA, Berhannu GEBREMICHAEL & Herbert WAMALWAAbstract: Youth unemployment in Africa challenges governments and development partners alike. This problem is hard to tackle because of the lack of reliable data and related analysis on scale, distribution and complexity of employment, unemployment and livelihood situation as well as effective policies, programmes and approaches for young women and men. Vulnerable groups of youth such as those on the Streets are worst hit by this problem. This study examines the effectiveness of East African institutions in intervening to assist street youth get integrated into the society through acquisition of adequate employment skills or entrepreneurial skills. The study uses a set of data collected by Koinonia Advisory Research and Development Service (KARDS), a community development consultancy in Nairobi, Kenya. The data was collected in 2007 and in 2010. This data is based on the work-activities of street children projects in Nairobi for 122 street children institutions.
It was found out that most institutions disengage the children once they become young adults, leaving them to find jobs and to fend for themselves. Unfortunately, by the time the former street youth are disengaged from institutional benefits they may not have adequate skills for competitiveness in the job markets. This fact underscores the fact that the rehabilitation programmes have less abilities toimpart adequate community and societal integration skills to the former street youth. There is therefore a need to develop other interventions such as work integration social enterprises (WISE) that would assist the young adults to become independent while helping them deal with barriers inhibiting their competitiveness, ability to get employed, become entrepreneurial and ultimately be able to reintegrate effectively back into the society.
Keywords: Street Youth, Integration, Reintegration, WISE.
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