Ms Vida Asamani Amoako, a Social worker, says, many parents are now shirking their responsibilities towards their children, thereby, forcing such children on to the streets, with its many accompanied vices.
She, has, therefore, expressed concern over the increasing rate of parental irresponsibility, which such parents always attribute to poverty, that continuously push more children on to the streets, especially in Accra.
Ms Amoako, who is the Executive Director of Street Girls Aid (S.AID), said parental irresponsibility was becoming so rampant to the extent that many of the street children who are forced onto the streets have to look for money to fend for themselves and their families as well.
A 2012 Census on Street children in the Greater Accra Region put the number of street children in the region at 61,942, made up of 57 per cent females and 43 per cent males.
Accra’s street children are said to drift through traffic, market places, and bus terminals in search of daily work so they could meet their basic needs.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at a graduation ceremony held in Accra for some street girls who underwent vocational skills training in sewing, cookery and hair dressing at the Street Girls Aid, Ms Amoako, who is also the Coordinator of the West Africa Network for the Protection of Children (WAN) in Ghana, said it was high time society did something about streetism, and called on parents to be more responsible towards their children.
“Ghana’s family system is breaking down and society should do something urgently about it. We need to preach and uphold the family system and values and take care our children”, Ms Amoako said.
She said when children were out of the streets engaged in more productive activities and good life style, there would be safety and good security for all people.
She noted that the S.AID, which have been operating in the country for the past 25 years, was assisting girls and young mothers who live on the streets of Accra, promoting and creating opportunities that empower them to become meaningful citizens in society.
The S.AID’s approach had been going to where the children are, to provide support for young teenage mothers and their children and empower them with vocational skills so they could work and earn some money for their upkeep, Ms Amoako explained.
S.AID also provide emergency shelter for street mothers and their children, on-site counselling and case management, educational classes focusing on parenting skills, hygiene, and heath.
Ms Amoako said the 21 graduating girls were taken through four months and 12 months training in cookery, braiding and pedicure and manicure, as well as cookery that could be learnt faster and easier, and provide easy employment for the girls.
Upon completion of the training, the girls were given certificates of from the S.AID and tool boxes as a starts-up kits for them.
Mrs Irene Engmann, Deputy Director of S.AID, commended the girls for their determination and zeal that enabled them to complete their training successfully, having earned some skills that have made them more employable.
She said S.AID had trained more than 800 girls, and many of them were now off the streets and were working to earn a living.
She urged parents and guardians to support their children and ensure that they gained the right footing to be better placed in society.