Shelters for the Homeless Children: Unmasking the Plight of the Street Children in South Africa

Nkuna Monge Richer


The aim of this paper was to explore the status of the rehabilitated children in shelter homes in South Africa. The study further explored the challenges the students face in the homes as well as a critique of the sustainability of the rehabilitation framework used by the state in ensuring the children live quality and successful life after leaving the shelter homes. The study found out that despite the programme of rehabilitation of the street children in shelter homes being a noble idea, the children are facing myriad of challenges in the homes. Some of the challenges faced by the children in the homes include; lack of sufficient housing, child abuse and molestation in the children homes, lack of adequate and quality food and clothing. The main challenge facing the rehabilitation is the sustainability of the process since after the completion of education period by the children, the children are released from the homes to pave way for the admitted cohorts of children being admitted to the homes. The other challenge was lack of adequate funding by the government and civil society since the population of children to be admitted to the homes is quite huge. The study further revealed that the shelter homes were not actually offering conducive environment for the children since majority of them opt out to the streets due to oppressions or abuse by the management or fellow street children. The study recommends that the government and civil society take a pro-active approach while rehabilitating street children in shelter homes in South Africa to ensure sustainable and holistic rehabilitation

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