Building with Bamboo

The Relevance of Secure Attachments

Published 09/29/2017 By Alfred Ochaya

How street-connected children develop a secure attachment with caregivers, social workers and other trust worthy adults plays an important role in building their resilience. At home children who develop a secure attachment with their parents are most likely to be resilient in the face of adversity.


Developing Secure Attachments with Street-Connected Children

There are a wide range of activities practitioners working with street-connected children can do to establish a secure attachment with them. In my own experience, showing that you care and love them when they open up to you is real important, it may appear something small, but it has a huge impact in their lives. Very often street-connected children face challenges on the streets, for instance, they are beaten and arrested for engaging in minor crimes, in the face of such adversity, they need somebody they can rely on.

A child who is securely attached to a trust worthy adult, social worker or any other practitioner working to help the orphans and vulnerable children, will possess resilient traits, such as curiosity and interest in exploring, self-sufficiency, tolerance towards frustration and self-control. Also, resilient children tend to establish strong relationships in peer groups, handle better conflicts, feel more confident, cooperate and actively seek and develop relationships.

At S.A.L.V.E International, we securely attach ourselves to street-connected children by doing art work with them, being empathetic, taking them to the hospitals whenever they fall sick and carrying out a series of activities that show that we love and care for them.

Recently, a 17-year-old street-connected child was beaten up for accusation of having been involved in theft. Mob justice was applied to him and he was crying out my name Alfred!,Alfred!,Alfred!. People involved in the mob justice were keen to find out who Alfred was. Then, I received a phone call, the person that spoke to me wanted to find out if I knew the boy, I said, yes, I know him! I reiterated that he was a street-connected child. Finally, we had to intervene to rescue the child.

In the face of such challenges that children encounter on the street, they need people to securely be attached to, this is why at S.AL.V.E International we are working harder to establish a secure attachment with street-connected children. This is something that we can all do to promote resilience among children-connected children.