Following the mobile team in Luanda's streets.
Luanda, a city somehow similar to Maputo: one could have been the extension of the other. Prospective et Coopération and I were trusted by the Samu Social International to do the evaluation of their project for children and youths in street situation. Along an Angolan organisation, the Centro de Atendimento a Crianças Arnaldo Janssens, the Samu Social is running a mobile unit which works five nights a week in Luanda's streets to meet and provide primary health care and support to the children sleeping in the street. Their approach has been shared and is currently the main reference for the other organisations responding to that population. The opportunity I had to follow every night the team for a couple of weeks, gave a real sense of the connection the social and health workers have with the children and youths. They have been crafting that relation with time, mutual respect and presence. They know about each others, the stories of their lives, see who is not there, or who is down. Their knowledge is invaluable and not well shared through formal mechanisms of data collection, case management or other ways to monitor and manage work. They are masters in their skills and strong of their experience.
The Samu Social works in many contexts and has drawn invaluable knowledge on the street system. Their resources are accessible here: http://www.samu-social-international.com/site/centre-de-ressources/.