1 University of Mons (BELGIUM)
2 State University of Haïti (HAITI)
3 Dynamo International (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 1-9
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0100
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
In Haiti, the number of street children is estimated between 3,000 and 4,000. This situation is generated by various problems encountered by the country, namely significant family difficulties (violence, ruptures, ...), recurring natural disasters, poor school supervision, political instability, economic problems and increasing influence of drug abuse. These children are often trauma victims. Resilience is however possible thanks to education but the educational interventions must be adapted to the peculiarities of these children, which often feel distrust of the adult world owing to the various aversive life events they experienced.

This communication summarizes the results of an exploratory research based on an analysis of thematic drawings. Our sample consists of 29 male subjects, aged between 9 and 17 years old. The main objective of this study is to determine what kind of educational intervention would be the most appropriate for these children by exploring their representations of the family, the street and, finally, what they wish to become and / or to possess in the future. These data were then individually and transversely analyzed in order to answer our questions of research.

Quite all the drawings clearly highlight a lack of schooling. Indeed, the drawings are very little in line with the age of these youth, especially in terms of various formal characteristics. The drawings of the family are characterized by signs of violence, anxiety, distancing and / or family absence. On the contrary, street drawings are less violent and anxiety-provoking than expected. Moreover, the street is rarely represented in a sad way. The drawings of dreams are not very elaborate and reflect the inability of these young people to put themselves in project or in a long-term perspective. Paradoxically, it thus seems that it is in the street that the children feel affectively the least threatened. In addition, they need to express themselves more about the emotional violence experienced in their family than about the everyday violence on the street. The street is the place where they live and found refuge; even if they know that this place is linked with violence, they reject this reality because the street has become their only chance of survival. We can also assume that these children do not want to give the street a bad image, perhaps for fear of being removed from their daily living space that is also synonymous with freedom of action. The situation seems irreversible with the family because the emotional ties are already too damaged, distended, or even nonexistent.

Our hypothesis is that these children should receive appropriate educational interventions, organized in the living environment that they present as the least distressing: that's to say the street. Mobile non-formal training or unconventional education workshops, based on artistic (or playful) activities, would probably be a lead to focus on. They would indeed make it possible to go towards the children where they live, rather than bringing them into a "normative" school, far from their everyday reality and their operating habits. Parental education work on a voluntary basis could also be considered as a prevention, in order to promote a less violent family education and to limit the number of leaving for the street. A focus could also be initiated on alternative care centers or host family.
Non-formal educational initiatives, Street children, Haïti.