Experiences and Perspectives of Karamojong Street girls to Intervention Programmes
MetadataShow full item record
Nearly two-third of Kampala’s street children are from the Karamojong ethnic group. This study examined experiences and perspectives of the Karamojong street girls on interventions that were provided to improve their quality of life. The interventions were provided by government and Non-Government Organizations. My emphasis was on experiences and perspectives on interventions using the conceptual lenses of gender, ethnicity and culture. Data were generated through different qualitative techniques. Theoretically, the study was grounded in the sociology of childhood that acknowledges children as knowledgeable social actors. In addition, the study adopted the rights based approach that emphasizes how children’s views ought to be sought in interventions that affect their lives. Based on the perspectives of the girls and their guardians, analytical insights and conclusions were provided. The study found out that the government had adopted the preventive approach and concentrated on dealing with the ‘push factors’ that led the Karamojong girls onto the streets. In Kampala, the girls mainly depended on NGOs, the locals’ good will and their ingenuity to survive. The girls’ experiences of the interventions were influenced by their gender, culture and their affiliation to an ethnic minority group that marginalized them. It was discovered that the girls decried the uncoordinated and piecemeal interventions provided by government and an NGO that excluded them on the basis of age. They were grateful for the relative peace that had returned to Karamoja region and those service providers and locals that ‘held’ them with respect and dignity. The girls suggested to be transferred to another region that had arable land that they would cultivate, to escape the hunger in Karamoja. They also voiced the need to fight the cultural vices that compounded their marginalization. The need to educate the masses about the Karamojong plight was emphasized by the girls as this would suppress the ‘triple marginalization’ they faced. The study recommended that for interventions to be effective, the elements of ethnicity, culture and gender need to be considered. The Karamojong street girls and their guardians have to be listened to and effectively participate in formulating and implementing intervention programmes. This would ensure the efficacy and sustainability of the interventions.