This books aspirations is to help improve the lives of street children in any part of the world. While acknowledging different views, it is based on the belief that there is sufficient common ground between different cultures and contexts for practitioners in all parts of the world to learn from each other. By providing an analysis of how one approach was tried, tested, improved and expanded through careful and constant attention to reflective analysis and review, it shows how principles can be drawn out which transcend both culture and the practical application of those principles in any one context.
Although not an academic book, it relates theory and insight to pioneering practice, entailing, action-centred learning, starting from commitments to contextual relevance. preparation and sensitivity to cross-cultural work and a determination to resist the 'ah-but-it'll-never-work-here syndrome'.
It aims to empower street children through rebuilding lives, restoring dignity and releasing potential, equip and encourage people who work or may work amongst street and homeless children, and inform those in positions of influence.
It does this by highlighting five inter-related aspects or features of an approach that has proved effective. This approach is:
and built around a conviction that the approach is untenable or weakened if any of these elements is missing or ignored
Incorporating stories, anecdotes and accounts of how lessons were learnt from both disappointments and achievements, this book can help:
Strengthen, equip and encourage anyone with street children
inspire and prepare people to start working with street, homeless or abandoned children
offer realistic insights to those considering working with street children
inform a guide those in management, leadership and governance of organisations working with street children and other categories of children in difficult circumstances
urge anyone to act and advocate on behalf of children whose voices are unheard or ignored
challenges those in positions of authority and influence to bring about positive change in the lives of street children and the communities to which they belong
Any practitioner with responsibility for the care, welfare, guidance and empowerment of individual street children and young people including homeless and abandoned children and young people. In different places this might include:
executive staff with responsibility for the development or management of such practitioners
policy-makers, researchers, lecturers, students and libraries that serve them in youth work, social work and counselling
supporters of work amongst street children, homeless and abandoned children, or children facing difficult circumstances
Andrew Williams has twenty years experience of direct work with children and young people. he is co-founder, former CEO and President Emeritus of Tetak, an organisation widely respected for its work amongst street children in Africa. Andrew was born in Uganda, studied at Edinburgh University and for an MSc in Applied Social Studies at Oxford University before qualifying as a probation officer.
In 1996 Andrew accepted an invitation from Uganda to develop a football club for street boys into a social work organisation. Retrak (formerly known as The Tigers Club Project) was registered in 1997. To widen impact and reflect significant changes, the charity was rebranded and officially launched a Retrak in 2005. Andrew relocated to Kenya to establish a dead office in Nairobi and operations began in Ethiopia. In 2006, he was awarded the MBE for services to disadvantaged children in Uganda.
Andrew moved with his family to the UK in 2008. He is a registered social worker and combines an acting career with consultancy, advocacy, training and support for children-focussed NGOs. He hopes this publication will contribute to fulfilling a vision of a work in which every child has dignity and opportunity and no child is forced to live on the street.
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