Ataöv, A., & Haider, J.
Ataöv, A., & Haider, J. (2006). From participation to empowerment: Critical reflections on a participatory action research project with street children in Turkey. Children Youth and Environments, 16(2), 127–152. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7721/chilyoutenvi.16.2.0127
This paper is based on a three-year participatory action research (PAR) project conducted with children living and working on the streets of six Turkish metropolitan cities. We first examine how the dominant policy fails to acknowledge street children as actors in public space and review empowering methodology for working with street children. Second, we discuss the PAR methodology and how it facilitates meaningful participation by street children. Third, we consider how the project contributed to the inclusion of street children in public space. Finally, we review the role of PAR in empowering street children.
The situation of children living on the street is multidimensional, involving social, economic, and physical aspects. The children face issues with health, education, income, relationships, and public awareness. The challenges they face are often addressed in public space, by working, begging, playing, and simply surviving. The authors find that Participatory Action Research empowered children to challenge negative attitudes about them, increase their access to health care, and encourage opportunities for play and education in public space. They argue that public space should accept the presence of street children and accommodate their everyday activities, such as working, playing, and learning.
Description of method used in the article
The first phase of research included interviews and art activities with street children, which allowed researchers to better understand their everyday life experiences. The second phase involved workshops, meetings, interviews, and content analysis of the drawings and photos from the art activities to understand the social forces influencing the children's living situation. The third phase included feedback and action planning to produce plans and foster institutional support to improve the children's situation.
Of some practical use if combined with other research