Street kids want to zula

A study on Windhoek street children shows that most of them have homes to return to but they enjoy living without adult supervision and earning money by illicit means.

11 December 2018 | Social Issues

A Unam study has found that street children return to the streets where they engage in prostitution, mainly because they get used to being their own bosses and making their own money.

The study found that the majority of Windhoek street children were born in Windhoek, with a few who hail from Zimbabwe and South Africa, while those from outside Windhoek are predominantly from Rehoboth and Keetmanshoop. There are a handful from Gobabis and Oshikango as well as Lüderitz and Swakopmund.

The Demographic Profile of Street Children: A study of Windhoek, 2015, was commissioned by the gender equality and child welfare ministry to determine the socio-demographic characteristics of street children in Windhoek, as the population remains unknown.

The study compiled by Unam social work students found that the majority of the street children are boys between the ages 11 and 18 who are able to return to a family home, and that the majority of them are Damara-speaking with the smallest number speaking Shona as home language.

The study also found that the majority of these street children have only attended school to grade 8.

The study also made two important distinctions, namely 'children on the streets', which refers to children who have homes to return to but are on the street to earn money, and 'children of the streets', which refers to homeless children who have no families. The former group is the majority.

The study also showed that most of these children grew up with single mothers and grandparents.

Those who grew up with other relatives or a stepparent are at risk of living on and off the streets.

The study also indicated that the overwhelming majority of street children are boys (84%), and girls or young women at 16%.

“The lesser reasons why the children are pushed onto the streets are hostile home environments such as alcohol abuse and divorce, as well as their own defiant behaviour such as the use of illicit drugs and non-adherence to a structured environment. Primarily, poverty drives these children to the streets,” the report states.

It adds that a sense of belonging has considerable influence over street children's decision to stay on or off the streets.

Means of income

According to the study, street children's primary source income is begging and stealing (58%), followed by prostitution and selling illicit drugs.

The majority of street children were born in the capital while some hail from southern Namibia and surrounding towns.

The border and coastal towns of Namibia are prone to the presence of street children as the highest percentage outside Windhoek first lived on the streets in these towns, the study found.

Street children also confirmed that they had been approached by drug dealers who wanted them to sell illicit drugs.

The majority of the children are often rounded up by the police, their own parents or caregivers, ministry officials and staff from the government after-school centre.

The study also found that while most of the street children indicated money in their pockets will keep them off the street, about half of them have no parents to return to who can support them financially.


The study recommended the development of targeted risk programmes for boys.

It also recommended a strengthened monitoring and reporting system of foster placements beyond the superficial provision of basic needs by the social welfare sector to identify children at risk of maltreatment, defiant behaviour and assessing if caregivers still wish to foster or care for a child.

The study also suggested that there is a need to strengthen the legal framework to identify child prostitution and to address the reasons why minors are taken and held at police stations.


Similar News


Illegal abortions remain a burning issue

5 days ago - 20 February 2020 | Social Issues

At least 74 persons were arrested for illegal abortions over the past five years, with one woman currently behind bars on a conviction related to...

Hamunyela urges Khorixas women to take threats by men...

1 month - 07 January 2020 | Social Issues

Khorixas-based public prosecutor Penda Hamunyela has urged women living in the area to take insults and threats made against them by men seriously, as they...

No place for tribalism, racism – Kawana

1 month - 06 January 2020 | Social Issues

Attorney-general Albert Kawana has urged Namibians not to go into reverse gear and compromise the ideals of Namibia's policy of reconciliation. This comes at a...

Making a real difference

2 months ago - 09 December 2019 | Social Issues

Twenty-nine-year-old Anna Tatelo will stop at nothing until her dream of a shelter for HIV children affected by HIV is realised.Equipped with experiences acquired under...

One million live in shacks

3 months ago - 01 November 2019 | Social Issues

The latest count by Namibia's largest community collective has found that close to 40% of Namibians live in shacks - amounting to close to one...

New lease on life

5 months ago - 24 September 2019 | Social Issues

Over a month after complaining at a presidential town hall meeting in Rundu about the lack of artificial limbs at the town's state hospital, 49-year-old...

Pregnancies, HIV haunt teens

5 months ago - 12 September 2019 | Social Issues

Namibia is grappling with a stubbornly high national teenage pregnancy rate, which stands at 19%. In the two Kavango regions alone, the teen pregnancy...

ELCRN defends controversial synod

5 months ago - 03 September 2019 | Social Issues

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELRCN) has distanced itself from the violence that broke out during the elections held at its...

Teen pregnancies 'tragedy'

6 months ago - 30 July 2019 | Social Issues

The Khomas Region recorded 89 school pregnancies in the first term of this year, while 1 002 learners fell pregnant between 2015 and 2018.Ombudsman John...

Vulnerable and alone

7 months ago - 19 July 2019 | Social Issues

After an initial projection in 2008 that there would be 250 000 orphans and vulnerable children under the age of 15 by 2021, President Hage...

Latest News

Renter’s market a home truth

21 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Potential tenants enjoy increasingly bigger bargaining power in the deposits they are willing to pay to rent a property in Namibia, the...

Swapo's moral compass is lost...

21 hours ago | Politics

Former Swapo secretary-general Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said her party is encouraging a culture of 'convicted honourables' by not taking a firm and consistent stand on how...

Willem's 30km school walk on...

21 hours ago | Education

A 16-year-old boy from Vikota village in Kavango East Region walks 30 kilometres to and from school every day while only having one meal that...

Govt still tight-lipped on fishermen...

21 hours ago | Business

Acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana says he is waiting on Cabinet for “certain approvals” before making public pronouncements on the nuts and bolts of how...

TOV to inaugurate poultry enterprise

21 hours ago | Business

The TOV HIV/AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children Organisation based in Tsumeb will inaugurate its poultry enterprise worth N$1.1 million on Thursday. TOV and its partners...

First-time winner at 71!

21 hours ago | Business

Petrus du Plooy (71) answered a call two weeks ago informing him that he was a winner, although he had yet to find out what...

Stranded Africans plead to be...

21 hours ago | Economics

Elias Biryabarema and Josiane Kouagheu – When Margaret Ntale Namusisi's three daughters called her in Uganda to say they were being quarantined at their university...

Nandi-Ndaitwah whips up voters

21 hours ago | Politics

Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah launched the party's campaign for the Opuwo Rural by-election last Saturday by calling on voters to turn up in numbers on...

Independence is worth celebrating

21 hours ago | Opinion

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes,” the great Mahatma Gandhi once said. Namibia is currently embroiled...

Load More