187386 Focussing on social exclusion – Public Health beyond borders

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barbara Pose, MD, MPH, DTM&PH , SRH Program, CARE Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Frehywot Eshetu, MD, MPH , SRH Programm, CARE Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Abdulaziz Ahmed , SRH Programm, CARE Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Sara Buchanan, MA, BA , Program Design and Quality Support, CARE Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
HIWOT (Health Improvement and Women Owned Transformation) is a Sexual Reproductive Health program implemented by CARE International in Ethiopia, funded by Royal Netherlands Embassy. To better reach marginalized groups and improve community competence and good governance project staffs underwent social challenge training. As a result one team initiated a process of community dialogue to address the problems of street children.

An assessment investigated the extent of OVC, street children & other socially affected t. FGD and Key informant interviews were conducted. The focus group discussion was done with five groups: men, women, youth, a mixed group and street children. The community attitude toward self excluded, exploited and abused children was explored, the existing social support systems quantified. One aim was to get a community recommendation to mitigate the problem of social support ie streetism and vulnerability etc…

One of the interesting aspects to emerge was the widely contrasting views of people about the children: the police had no sympathy for them at all and just saw them as criminals, whilst others felt that they needed better systems of support. There was an interest among the key informants and discussants to assist those who are in difficult situation, CBOs, FBOs, and government structures expressed willingness to deal with the problems of these disadvantaged children.

The presentation will report on the process of engaging community members including the disadvantaged individuals as actors and present the answers provided by the communities after awareness raising.

The process of fostering the group of street children itself empowered them to negotiate with the authorities and develop reintegrating approaches according to different age groups.

Learning Objectives:
to empower streetchildren to develop a new place in their communities to adress social exclusion in a small town in adeveloping countries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: presented at APHA 2007
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.