Micro-Enterprise Credit for Street Youth
Although small-scale business training and credit programs have become more common throughout the world, relatively little attention has been paid to the need to direct such opportunities to youth living on the street or in difficult circumstances. Over the past years, Street Kids International (S.K.I.) has been working with partner organizations in Africa, Latin Africa and India to support the economic lives of street children. The purpose of this paper is to share some of the lessons S.K.I. and our partner organizations have learned.
Typically, children end up on the streets not due to a single cause, but a combination of factors: the lack of adequately funded schools, the demand for income at home and so on. The street may be attractive to children as a place to find adventurous play and money. However, it is also a place where some children are exposed, with little or no protection, to exploitative employment, and urban crime.