Achieving sustainable development goals requires a commitment to various goals and targets. Most of these goals and targets can be achieved if we focus on the well-being of children.
Children everywhere are fragile and require proper care and attention.
To achieve the SDGs, for instance, goals one to four thus no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, and quality education, greater attention should be given to children as they are the future of every nation.
When children are properly catered for, and given the necessary support to be educated and become good citizens, it could go a long way to end poverty, and hunger and improve the well-being and health conditions of the population.
However, most children lack the opportunity to acquire quality education, access good health, and above all live in deplorable social, environmental, and inhumane conditions.
Some of these children are forced to search for their daily bread on the streets where they are born and bred and have known no home except living on the streets.
Others are on the streets with consent from their parents who cannot provide for them and instead depend on the little their children get from the streets whereas others run away from other negative cultural practices.
These children are exposed to the dangers on the street, and they must fight their way through to survive.
They learn different surviving strategies, and some become threats to society as they engage in various societal vices which can destroy the peace and security of a nation.
One organization that has taken it upon itself to care for street-connected children is Chance for Children, a Non-Profit Organization.
It was founded in 1999 by Daniela R. Sodjah and Amon Kotey. Today, together with Daniel Awuley Nartey, the three lead this organization in championing the course of street-connected children in Ghana.
Their mission is to empower street-connected children and their families with a dignified life. They are empowering these street-connected children to become independent citizens with good moral qualities to fit into society and who can lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
The children are given quality education and skills training to enhance their economic empowerment.
They help these children to reunite with their families and where this is not possible, they support them until they are self-dependent.
The Centre assesses each child and caters for their individual needs and provides a social and moral environment for these children, a home that they never could have had.
They have been able to aid over 20,000 street-connected children some of whom have been reintegrated with their families and others are successfully working and supporting their families.
Chance for Children is currently present in six ĺocations: Abossey Okai, Hebron and four Branches in Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi and Dambai
The team is made up of 70 Ghanaians and two European employees who are trying hard to bring change into the lives of these street-connected children.
The workers include street workers who have a daily presence on the streets, caregivers, social workers, teachers, and psychologists.
They have over the years also developed partnerships with both local and international organizations to significantly impact the lives of street-connected children, their families, and communities at large.
Chance for Children is contributing to the achievement of sustainable development goals by helping these street-connected children out of poverty and providing them with the necessities of life.
They require a great support to pursue their mission and in offering street-connected children and their families a better future.
By Dr. Fatima Eshun, Lecturer at the Department of Geography and Earth Science, University of Environment and Sustainable Development