Findings: Street Children & Youth Study

   Key Finding 1

75% are male, they were on average 15 years of age at enrolment into the study, 50% were double orphans (both mother and father were deceased), and another 35% were single orphans (meaning mother or father were deceased).


   Key Finding 2

In general, the street children in this study were nearly 6 times more likely to be stunted for their age compared to the orphans living in CCI’s, indicating an extremely high level of chronic malnutrition among them.


   Key Finding 3

They were twice as likely as the children living with extended family to have post-traumatic street disorder, probably a reflection of the extreme deprivation, violence, and suffering they experienced both prior to, and since, coming to the street. We have found that poverty, family dysfunction such as alcoholism and domestic violence, and child abuse are the primary drivers of children to the street.


   Key Finding 4

Once on the street, nearly all the street children in the study reported experiencing physical, emotional, and/or sexual violence after two years of follow-up. Compared to children living with extended family, the street children were 4.8 times more likely to experience one or types of violence after only two years of follow-up.


   Key Finding 5 

They have high levels of substance use, mostly inhalation of volatile solvents like shoe glue, and use drugs and alcohol to cope with the cold (Eldoret, though near the equator, is at 2300 meters above sea level), hunger, and fear they face daily.

50%

Double orphans

Among the predominantly male youth, 50% were double orphans (both mother and father were deceased)

 

35%

Single orphans

Among the predominantly male youth, 35% were single orphans (mother or father were deceased)