Street connected children with communication disabilities and their caregivers in Western Kenya: their experiences, beliefs and wishes

Principal Investigator: Dr Julie Marshall

Project Fact File

Start DateJanuary 2016
End DateDecember 2019
Funded by

Comic Relief via Chance for Childhood

Project TeamDr Julie Marshall
Dr Carol Taylor
External Providers and CollaboratorsChance for Childhood - UK charity
Kisumu Urban Apostolate Programmes- Pandipieri (KUAP), Kenya
Yellow House Kenya - a local NGO
Maseno University, Kisumu, Kenya

Principal Investigator

Meet Dr Julie Marshall

Dr Julie Marshall

Reader in Communication Disability and Development

Phone +44 (0)161 247 2581

Project Details


We have been working with Chance for Childhood (CFC) in Rwanda and they were developing the LEAP project ('LEAP from the Street: Learning, Education and Protecting'), which is a four-year NGO run programme in western Kenya, set up in response to the lack of appropriate and available educational and support services for street connected children who also have disabilities/ special educational needs, including those with communication disabilities. An unpublished pilot study by Yellow House Children’s Services in Kisumu, Western Kenya, found that many street connected children had a communication disability. CFC were keen to develop some research alongside this service delivery project, and so we became involved.

Find out more about the wider  LEAP project here

In discussion with our colleagues in Kenya, we designed a piece of qualitative research, with the aim of enhancing the learning from the wider LEAP project. 

Aims and Objectives

The overall aim of the LEAP Research Project is to understand the experiences, attitudes, beliefs and wishes of street- connected children, with communication disabilities, and their main caregivers (at home and in school).


The aim of the research project is develop to understand the experiences, attitudes, beliefs and wishes of street connected children, with communication disabilities, and their main carers (at home and in school).

This qualitative project has involved a combination of interviews, focus groups and interactive arts based activities, using their preferred language/s, with 3 participant groups:

  1. street-connected children with communication disabilities (SCCWCD) aged 6-15 years;
  2. primary caregivers of SCCWCD;
  3. Learning Support Assistants who have been working with SCCWCD.

The data were collected by a group of 11 people who work for the wider LEAP project. They include speech and language therapists, parents support officers, child protection officers and teachers. This group also contributed to the research design and were trained by the research leads, Julie Marshall and Carol Taylor, over a 12 month period. The project was managed locally by a speech and language therapist from Yellow House Kenya, David Rochus.

Data have been transcribed and analysed using the Framework Method and are currently being written up.


The collected data are currently being analysed- watch this space for more updates.   The findings will have implications for the support of street connected children  with  communication disabilities, and their families

An additional output from the research is that 11 members of the LEAP team have been trained in the basics of research design, research ethics, qualitative interviewing and transcription.