Brownbag: "Counting Street Children: Have We Found the Solution?"

The Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Bureau’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance presents "Counting Street Children: Have We Found the Solution?"

Retrak, an international development organization working with street children and their families, works in DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe with the aim of creating a world where no child is forced to live on the street.

Retrak has recently piloted a new methodology for counting (enumerating) street children in Malawi. This method and its supporting evidence have the potential to be ground-breaking in working with street and highly vulnerable children.

At the presentation we will share the results of the count, including the method and the lessons learned from doing it. We will also examine the implications the enumeration will have on Retrak's reintegration standard operating procedures and how the old practices can work together with the new.

Have we finally found a way to debunk the myths around the numbers of street children globally and, with it, a way of being able to say that we can solve this issue now?

Diarmuid ÓNéill, CEO, Retrak

During his 7-year tenure as Retrak’s CEO, Diarmuid ÓNéill has seen the organization’s annual number of beneficiaries grow from around 1,000 to over 18,000. Retrak has a staff team of 120 and an annual budget of approximately $2 million. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Displaced Children and Orphans Fund, the U.K. Department for International Development, AusAid, Comic Relief, HDF, Lakarmissionen and others. Retrak works in partnership with Cordaid, the Association of Volunteers in International Service, ChildFund and World Vision, and it supports, funds and builds the capacity of several community-based organizations and locally based nongovernmental organization in Africa.