Mrs Ingrid Ansah, Vice President of Datalink University College has called for more efforts at keeping children off the streets.
She said that had become necessary because of the increasing number of “free-range” children who could not be classified as homeless but “second generation Street children”.
Mrs Ansah was speaking at the launch of the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Tongu Youth and Children Evangel (ToYACE) at Sogakofe in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region.
She said “idle youths find mischief”, therefore deprived children were either on the streets begging or engaging in all forms of activities.
She blamed the situation mainly on “broken extended family values which were held dearly in Africa in the past”.
Mrs Ansah said the diminishing family bond led to the exploitation of the vulnerable in society and had forced even elders out onto the streets begging, instead of spending time with children.
She said societies must work at bridging the widening class margin, and that community support was needed to help reduce teenage pregnancies, robberies, drug abuse and other social vices.
“We need to build society on a sense of compassion, care and solidarity, and must support efforts at ending the cycle of teenage pregnancies and child servant exploitation,” Mrs Ansah said.
She said working with the youth guaranteed energy, optimism and innovation, and urged them to grasp available self-development opportunities such as the government’s Free Education policy.
Mrs Ansah said parents were crucial in securing the future of the youth, and appealed to government to set up more skills development centres and small colleges on entrepreneurship.
She used the occasion to unveil a full tuition scholarship package that would benefit 300 students from the three Tongu districts, to be managed by ToYACE.
Mr Bestway Zottor, Founder of the NGO, expressed appreciation for the award and said a committee would be formed to manage the package.