Realising Capabilities for Street Young People in Harare, Zimbabwe: A New Approach to Social Protection

Living in social contexts characterised by poverty and inequality, street young people have limited access to healthcare, water sanitation and hygiene services; exacerbating effects of ill health, infections, lack of nutrition and substance abuse that undermine their wellbeing. In Harare, Zimbabwe, they are also excluded from Social Protection Programmes (SPPs) which potentially assist other impoverished Zimbabweans, two-thirds of whom live below the poverty line (WFP 2019. Zimbabwe Annual Country Report 2019. World Food Programme). In this paper, we propose a reassessment of SPPs, in particular the Assisted Medical Treatment Orde (AMTO), identifying barriers to access, and benefits for extending access to street young people . Drawing on secondary analysis of data from Growing up on the Streets, this paper re-conceptualises Ingrid Robeyns’ (2005.“The Capability Approach: A Theoretical Survey.” Journal of Human Development 6 (1): 93–117. https://doi.org/10.1080/146498805200034266) model of capabilities and applies it to the reversal of street youth exclusion and the application of government-targeted initiatives which have failed to reach those in the most vulnerable situations. In so doing, we propose an adapted model which recognises how the capabilities of street young people are enhanced when they are integrated into SPPs. This adapted model can be replicated and applied to relevant interventions for other groups of marginalised people in across contexts