Street youth in Zambia and Kenya

4 facts about street children

In the large cities of Kenya and Zambia, there are tens of thousands of street children and youth. Most of them are boys. Street children either live on the streets or spend a large share of their time there. Most street children and youth do not go to school. The most common reasons that lead a child to live and work on the streets are problems at home, the loss of one or both parents or poverty.

We do advocacy work and encourage street children.
My dream is to inspire other young people.

Esther, 17, Zambia

You can easily get into bad company on the streets. I want to go back to school, get an education and learn a profession.

Bernard, 17, Kenya

I started school one year ago. Before I didn’t know how to write and read. Now I’m improving.

Chimwemwe, ’Joy’, 11, Zambia

We formed an association one year ago. We pick up plastic so we can sell it and get money.

Mathews, 16, Kenya

I lead outreach work for younger street children. I hope to inspire them.
I’m there to tell them that they too can get off the street.

Chembe, 23, facilitator for street children, Zambia

Street children in Zambia and Kenya lead a life very different from that of most Finnish young people. Life on the streets puts children and youth at the risk of violence, abuse, drug use and HIV infections.

Street children either live on the streets or spend most of their time there. In the large cities of Kenya and Zambia, there are tens of thousands of street children. Most of them are boys. The streets form their living environment and their source of income. The risks of street life include getting involved in criminal activities and being subject to abuse. Many street children resort to drugs in order to make street life more bearable.

Street children cannot afford to go to school, and their societal status is weak. Children and youth would give up street life if they had the choice.

In the Taksvärkki campaign EVERYDAY IDOLS, Finnish youth support street children in Zambia and Kenya. Street children and youth will gain more self-confidence, get off the streets and get a chance for a better future.


“I want to speak out for the youth and let justice prevail.”
Esther, 17, Zambia

Zambia in a nutshell

Government
Republic
Capital
Lusaka
Area
752,618 km² (39th in the world, Finland: 338,432 km²)
Population
13 092 666 (2010, Finland: 5 460 459)
Literacy rate
61 % (Finland: 100 %)
Languages
official: English, others: nyanja and bemba, among others
GNP per capita
1,045 € (estimate 2009, Finland: 35,928 €)

Kenya in a nutshell

Government
Republic
Capital
Nairobi
Area
580,367 km² (48th in the world, Finland: 338,432 km²)
Population
45 010 056 (estimate 2014, Finland: 5 460 459)
Literacy rate
87 % (Finland: 100 %)
Languages
English and Swahili
GNP per capita
1,346 € (estimate 2013, Finland: 35,928 €)