8 questions about field work

1. What is our fieldwork about?

Our fieldwork is all about understanding the situation in which the marginalised children are – giving them all the love and attention they need to get complete trust and let them feel safe in our care so that they will be able to share with us their problems or reasons of living on the street.

Numerous talks with the children and relatives are crucial to see the true conditions of both sides and also find out about their seriousness and willingness to change their situation.

 

2. How do we choose the beneficiaries of our NGO and which are the steps to bring them into our Centre “First Contact Place”?

The individual situation in which child’s rights are at risk, e.g. lack of care, no access to education, determines whether we consider moving forward. Involving relatives and needing their acceptance and willingness for cooperation is the following step. After about two months of regular leisure time with the children, the final decision is taken and the guardians are invited again. From this step on, the children start attending our internal classes and receive a comprehensive guidance to form their personality in our Centre.

 

3. Is it hard for the children to build up trust?

Yes, it is. The children are very aware of the various dangers, as violence, rape or even murder, life on the streets brings along. As a result they have to undergo a difficult process of placing their trust in strangers and opening up. So it takes a lot of effort and patience from our side to gain their trust.

 

4. To how many boys and girls on the streets do we have contact concerning fieldwork?

Each year we usually get into closer contact with 30 to 50 children, male and female. Nevertheless, contacting boys and girls on the streets always depends on the capacity and resources available in the organization.

 

5. How old are the boys and girls?

Their age varies from 6 to 20 years. However, due to previous experiences, we realized that the older they are, the harder it is for them to make a change. That is why we now limited the age from 6 to 13 years.

 

6. How hard is it to convince the relatives?

Sometimes it is even hard to locate them. Once you found them, it depends. Some are immediately very grateful for any kind of help and progress for their child. For others it can be tough to acknowledge to themselves that they do not have the means to provide the child with the needed care. In these cases it can be a matter of overcoming their pride and understanding that our main goal is finding ways into a better future rather than judging the past.

 

7. In which cases do we face limits?

There are cases, where the parents or relatives do not agree to work with us. In these cases we see it as our responsibility, to report to Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU). Moreover, some children find it too difficult to open up or to share their problem with a staff member. Some of them already internalized life on the street to an extent, where a change of mind is very difficult.

 

8. What is the best part about fieldwork?

The best part about fieldwork is seeing the children gaining trust. When you tried to get into contact with one child for several times and suddenly, for the first time, you receive a smile, it is a great experience and joy. Then you know, you can talk to the child and try to figure out ways into a brighter future.