The Livelihood and Survival Strategies of Migrant Street Children in Bahir Dar Town

Ejigu, Addisu Birhanu (2003) The Livelihood and Survival Strategies of Migrant Street Children in Bahir Dar Town. Masters thesis, Addis Ababa University.

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Many of the street children in the study area, Bahir Dar, are rural-urban migrants. The present study investigates the livelihood and survival strategies of migrant street children. It further looks at the causes of migration of children and the social networks they maintain among themselves and to their rural villages. Structuration Theory and Livelihood Approach are adopted to look at the issues to get insights about how street children are making a living in the study area. Structuration Theory has been applied to look at the research problem from different perspectives. It is employed to realize the factors that shape the life of street children in the urban social system. Children make part of the structure of the urban life and as actors are striving to adjust themselves to livelihood outcomes. Livelihood approach has been adapted to look at the diverse street based economic activities of children and how they adapt survival mechanisms to meet their basic needs. In this study qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection are used. The qualitative method is used to understand the view of migrant street children and their lived experience while the quantitative method is used to supplement the data collected through qualitative one. Interviews, focus group discussion, and observation are used as instruments of data collection. Migrant street children as the subjects of this study were selected from Bahir Dar Town, using purposive snowball sampling to get insights about their lives. The data collected are triangulated and cross-checked to check reliability and validity of information. The study shows that children drifted from different parts of the country into the study area and the children left their rural villages on their own and without any parental say on their decision to migrate. They also come from families with large size in their rural localities. Migration does not lead them to lose contact with their rural folk except in few cases. Children migrate into the study area as a result of interwoven and various factors including poverty, disagreement with their families, death of parents (either both or one of their parents), in search of education and others. It has been found that increased migration of rural children was aggravated due to rural poverty. This study also shows that street children are engaged in diverse livelihood activities that require different types of assets of which labor is the most decisive one that enables them to earn income either directly in wage employment or indirectly through the production of goods and services sold in the informal market. In their day to day survival scenario, street children interact among themselves through various informal social networks characterized by hierarchies. Their social networks are also important to strengthen the capability of groups’ members to reduce vulnerability and be more beneficial to livelihood outcomes.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Livelihood, Survival Strategy, Strcturation Theory
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: Tim Khabala
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2018 12:52
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2018 12:52

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