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St. Michael's College

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

South Africa: Reconciliation and Development


Seeing street children was a new concept to me, but all too familiar to Durban, South Africa. It is something that had struck me and bothered me from my arrival here in South Africa and an issue that will trouble me for a lifetime. Working with I Care at the Hope Centre allowed me to get an inside look at the lives of some of these street children while building positive relationships with both the staff and the children alike. I began to see the children as children and saw past their rugged, stone-faced exteriors deep down to their desperate, attention-seeking souls. While at I Care, I was able to participate in daily activities and have informal interviews with both the staff and the children. While being an active member of the I Care staff, I was able to gain insight into the lives of the children and the organizations that attempt to better their lives. Although sometimes the days at the centre were grueling and painful, each day was filled with new and eye-opening experiences that allowed me to formulate the opinions and conclusions that I will outline in this paper. What I realized while working with the children was that the majority of the kids are vastly misunderstood by society as a whole. Many people walk past these children on a daily basis without a second thought about where they are from and why they choose to sniff glue on a regular basis. Many people refuse to acknowledge the truth that these children have a history and many are simply aching for love. While at I Care, I realized that there are people who do good work and care about the well being of these children and want to help them to help themselves to a better life. As Dr. Seuss says, “A person’s a person no matter how small”.


Social Welfare | Social Work



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