About 15 discussion sessions took place on Day 1, which ended by reconvening the whole group and welcoming any thoughts that the participant wanted to share.
The smaller discussions produced a written session outcome highlighting the points discussed.
There was a great feeling of community as those youth who could read and write assisted those who could not.
Oscar was one of the first ones to note that while he welcomed this process where “at risk” youth were directly consulted, he had to question what would come of it: ‘‘Does our government care, are they aware of what is going on here?’’ Oscar’s sentiment was shared widely throughout the room.
By the end of the second day, seven key areas of concern emerged from the youth discussions:
• human rights
• public service provision
In addition to highlighting what problems young people living and working on the street are facing, many participants also suggested possible solutions such as the creation of an organization to provide young women and children forced into prostitution with alternative livelihoods options.
The attention to community-based sports and their ability to keep up morale amongst the uneducated and unemployed and keep youth away from drugs and crime also showed how significant even the simplest things, such as a soccer ball, can be to marginalized communities.
In addition to noting the role that the government, the private sector, and local and international organizations could play in addressing their concerns, participants also thought about ways in which they could help themselves.
One suggestion went as far as proposing that youth perform work for the community -- street-sweeping, communal gardening, and other services that those in rich countries view as government responsibility-- in return for sports equipment. Or that a community-based youth commission could be set up to give unemployed youth contracts for carrying out such services.