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    Streets of resilience: exploring the role of educational outreach projects with street connected young people in Guatemala City

    Stevenson, Andrew, Oldfield, Jeremy and Ortiz, Emily (2019) Streets of resilience: exploring the role of educational outreach projects with street connected young people in Guatemala City. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 29 (3). pp. 238-253. ISSN 1052-9284

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    Abstract

    We explored resilience amongst street connected young people (SCYP) in Guatemala City in relation to two community‐based educational outreach projects who work with at risk young people. We investigated (a) how these projects adapt and constructed meaningful spaces of safety and protection for SCYP and (b) how their interactions with the families of SCYP impact on well‐being amongst SCYP. We focused on resilience‐building elements and practices, rather than on the dangers of street connectedness. Using ethnographic interviews, participatory photography, and image elicitation, we worked with eight young people and four adult project volunteers. Our research yielded evidence that dwellings, market stalls, and buildings used for religious purposes are being adapted as spaces of aspiration and opportunity to promote resilience. We found evidence of rifts between education projects and parents, and evidence for strategies for repairing these rifts. Our findings highlight the importance of community educational organisations in Guatemala City and have implications for their practice.

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