A qualitative look into the lives and aspirations of street children in Ho Chi Minh City
Keywords:Street Children, Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Human trafficking, Exploitation, Relationships, Future aspirations, Developing Countries, Asia’s Mega Cities.
The following paper presents a phenomenological view of Street children’s future aspirations in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (HCMC) in 2018. Information was collected addressing general background data, their experiences of living on the street, and the reasons for and how they came to be living on the streets. The subjects studied comprised 3 male and 3 female street children living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Phenomenological interviews were generated using a variety of quantifiable data techniques. They included: in-depth interviews of participants (street children), in-depth interviews of adult individuals in the children’s lives, questionnaires, and observation. The results of the study show a correlation between poverty, broken homes, abuse, limited schooling, and at times, human trafficking. Participants often displayed avoidance or aggression when confronted with uncomfortable or taboo topics. Possible symptoms relating to mental disorders displayed were: depression, generalized anxiety, attachment disorders, aggression, criminality, frustration and hopelessness. The children were drawn to foreigners as a means to earn money, either through sales of trinkets or through scams or begging. As such, the participants generally displayed exaggerated friendliness, superficial connections, and forward mannerisms with adult speaking patterns. All the children had aspirations and perhaps unrealistic goals for the future.