Sister Olivia Umoh, Street Children Project- Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi, has there is the need to place more emphasis on the affairs of street children as they can play a major role in halting the spread of the coronavirus.
“We work with children with street situations. Many of the children were found in slums and often in inhumanised conditions; congested areas, markets etc and if one should fall sick, tens or hundreds in the society could easily be infected as well”, she said.
Speaking in a recent interview with the Ghana News Agency, Sister Umoh said, the ‘Street Children Project in Kumasi, has been in existence for the past 15 years and their office is located on the Roman Hill besides the St. Peter Cathedral.
She said our entire effort is about rehabilitating children, getting them off the streets, support them to get formal education and meaningful vocational skills training.
Sister Umoh said after the entire process we also help them to reintegrate back into their families so they can in turn play meaningful roles in their communities.
She said as part of our regular affairs, we also visit the children in the streets and deliberate with them about life and the options available for them.
“What becomes of the African child when they are not aware of their rights? So we also train them to know their rights and how they can identify various forms of abuses from all quarters in the society, Sister Umoh said, adding that we are also highlighting the dangers of the coronavirus to them and the entire society.
Currently, we are sponsoring about 500 children and many do come for counseling and we give them advice on ways they can integrate into the society, she said.
Yes, the period is past, Sister Umoh said, but we need to hammer it again as the month of April ie 12 April is the day used to mark the international day for street children.
The theme for this year’s celebration which fell on Easter Sunday was: “Creating a safe space for street children”, and with the COVID 19 pandemic, “it is moving and a major worry that children on the streets have no place to go for life to be meaningful to them” she added.