Demonstrating Agency and Resilience amidst Recurrent Health Challenges: A Case of Street Children in Kumasi Metropolitan Area

Padmore Adusei Amoah, Joseph Edusei


A substantial number of people across the globe live in extreme poverty and deprivation. With regards to children, a significant number of them especially those in the developing countries are entrapped in a cycle of poverty which has extensively limited their development. One of such groups of children includes street children who often live on the margins of major cities. Their poor living conditions constantly expose them to diverse health related risks and problems. A number of these children have however thrived on streets amidst the prevailing health related challenges. According to research, this is attributed to skills and attitude which enables them to thrive adequately. These peculiar skills and attitudes are summed up in the concepts of agency and resilience. Emphasis has lately been placed on the ingenuity these group of children exhibit in dealing with their everyday challenges such as health problems. The paper finds that, despite their poverty levels and hardships, these children showed traits of self motivation, creativity, flexibility and adaptability which demonstrated their agency. Moreover, they were able take advantage of meagre opportunities such as their limited social capital, little erratic incomes and experience on the streets to address some of their health problems by themselves. The paper thus argues that, it is pertinent for these special skills and coping mechanisms to be critically incorporated into efforts geared at the health related wellbeing of poor and vulnerable groups. This could be done through the application of appropriate participatory methods in the initiation and implementation of relevant policies and strategies to give people the opportunity to demonstrate their inherent capabilities as human beings.

Key Words and Phrases: Agency, Resilience, Health, Street Children, poor and vulnerable, participation,

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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