Accepted Paper:

Is the problem of "street-children" is a "social problem" or a phenomenon on the urban space? Looking through anthropologist on NGOs (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)  


Takao Shimizu (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)

Paper short abstract:

From the case study of my research of “street-children” in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, I will show the gaps of perspectives between the anthropological one and the aid agencies one to understand child and suggest the necessity of multiple perspectives on learning from/of children on “social problems”.

Paper long abstract:

In the globalizing world, the urban space has been extending and creating many social problems even for children. As well as in African continent, the "street children" was discovered in 1990th. Approximately 100 NGOs have been intervening this problem in this affair save the children from street in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. According to them, 44% of children on the street are students of Quranic School and, 20% of them are non-schoolin. Most of them are alienated from "modern school/system".

To implement an ethnographic research of children on the street, I have taken two perspectives of the observation. First, to clarify their life and their origin, I've done fieldworks on the street independently. To survey if "street-children" would be only "social problem", I will show one episode about one street child from anthropological research, which one boy who had helped my research got away from NGO shelter. Secondly, on the other hand, I've been implementing a research as a member of KEOOGO (Local NGO). This NGO and other active organizations promoted activities for "socialization" and "normalization" of children. Although these activities wouldn't be succeeded, I, as a member of NGO, do believe that these activities are necessary to save the children.

We anthropologists observe some informants standing on some points of view through our research activities. If we assume the children would be "others" who have not been studied in anthropology for a long time, we have to study from multiple perspective to learn from/of children and youth.

Panel P100
Learning of/with children: anthropologist at "school" (CLOSED) (Commission on Children, Youth and Childhood)