I have very happy when I heard the news that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and the Ghana Police Service have started a programme to get street children off the street.
I was beginning to get worried with the increasing numbers of children on the street, who are doing menial jobs to survive. I was worried because gradually these children could become hardened criminals and would come hunting us all.
I encountered two young boys, holding a foam-like material and begging to clean the windscreen of cars, I stopped and talked with them.
They answered every question that I asked confidently, they gave their names and age and why they were on the street and even expressed the willingness to do “any-work” should I offer them a job.
However these children, in my view cannot be helped by individuals, they have been hardened by living on the street and can concoct all kind of stories just to win sympathy but once they win your sympathy “you are in for a though time with them.”
I once picked a young lady, 21 years of age from Madina Zongo junction to help her and put her into trade and I ever regret doing that. This lady who approached me begging me to take her home, ended up stealing majority of my children’s clothing and a few items and bolted.
That was after I had paid her a monthly allowance of GHc200, fed, sheltered and clothed her the whole month.
While thinking about what could be done in Ghana to curb streetism, a friend, Akosua, shared an experience which I think is worth sharing. She was in the United Kingdom, Durham, to study for her Masters degree.
One day, she missed a turn which would lead her to a particular shop and found herself in a neighbourhood where she did not know. Akosua said, I could sense that the people in the neighbourhood peeping through their windows.
At first I thought it was because I am “black” but in a matter of minutes two police men approached. They asked me” You seem to be loitering around, how can we help you”.
I told them I was a student at Durham and has missed my way, the police men asked for my name and date of birth, then one of them excused as and distance himself.
He held a device which looks like the a big mobile phone, apparently he was checking my details, he was able to tell me, when I entered the country and had a lot of details about me.
Akosua said, “I sigh” because that day, if I was an illegal immigrant, I will have been deported.
She said, one hardly saw street children in the UK, that is why I would commend the Ministry to keep on with this excercise.
I learnt the children, 34 minors made up of 11females and 23 males taken out from the streets are temporary being housed at the Centre for Abused Children of the Department of Social Development, at Madina where they are being taken care of.
I hope something concrete comes out of this
Source; Public Agenda
By Mrs Hannah Awadzi
Let’s keep talking….