Home Institution

University of Houston

Publication Date

Fall 2014

Program Name

Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights

Abstract

Although the exact number is impossible to obtain, there are an estimated 30,000 street children living in Morocco. There are many different profiles of street children, but they are categorized mainly as children in the street and children of the street. Children in the street leave home due to poverty and precarious family situations but still return home from time to time if not every night. Children of the street have no homes to go to; they live, sleep and struggle to survive on the streets. In the city of Tangier where this study takes place, most of the children that are living in the street are doing so in hopes of making the stretch into Europe. Regardless of the profile, the reality that faces these children in the streets is still the same: terrible daily circumstances and a bleak, unknown future. In this paper I will explore the different types of organizational responses to the problem of street children in Tangier, including a boarding school, a religious convent, and three different associations. My methodology includes interviews with directors and volunteers from the different associations, participant observation, personal reflections and volunteer work for two of the organizations. Each institution works with various profiles of street children in its own unique way, and my purpose is to examine the approaches with which they alleviate certain issues, the philosophies behind their methods and the separate problems they all face in attempting to reintegrate the children back into Moroccan society. Through their stories, I will analyze the obstacles impeding these organizations from the potential of giving street children a chance at a positive future, and assess both the temporary and permanent solutions they have found in order to overcome the problem. I conclude that organizational social action alone is not sufficient to alleviate the problem, and that government intervention in Tangier is not only lacking but desperately needed in order to find a solution to the problem of children in street situations.

Disciplines

African Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Educational Sociology | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education | Social Statistics | Social Work

 

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