A retrospective field experience : a reflexive journey through day-to-day work with the 'street children' at Street Universe

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

This thesis critically reviews thoughts and experiences that arose out of a nine-week internship and post-internship volunteer work at Street Universe, a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) working with 'street children' living in Cape Town's city centre and surrounds. It touches on two main topics, 'street children' and the NGO. Although I did not work exclusively with the 'street children', I interacted with them on a daily basis and therefore part of this thesis touches on issues pertaining to their lives. My main focus is the inner workings of an NGO and the context within which it strives to achieve its goals. I explore methodological and ethical aspects of doing fieldwork in an NGO setting, which coalesce with the problem of positionality, of situating myself as a researcher within webs of fluid interpersonal and professional relationships. Grounding my research in the day-to-day work of Street Universe allows me to identify how internal organisational matters affect the presentation and implementation of the organisation's aims. My aim is to link the two topics by showing how organisational matters are ,enacted in the relationship between 'street children' and Street Universe as a whole.

Bibliography: leaves 52-54.