Home Opinion The Tamale Struggle Against Streetism: Is Sustainable Development Goal 3 Attainable?

The Tamale Struggle Against Streetism: Is Sustainable Development Goal 3 Attainable?

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Streetism
Streetism

Story written by Priscilla Dakurah

In the heart of Tamale, the harsh reality of street life is all too familiar for many children. Ayisha, a young girl, embodies this struggle as she navigates a life filled with uncertainty, scavenging for food and avoiding the daily dangers present on the street.

Though Ghana’s second-largest city, Tamale, is a daunting reality for many young children, Poverty, neglect, and a lack of opportunities have forced them to flee their homes to live on the streets, often without access to basic necessities like food, shelter, and healthcare. Amidst these challenges, can Sustainable Development Goal 3 be achieved?

Remarkably, Tamale’s efforts to provide shelter, education, and healthcare for street children are a crucial step towards ending child streetism and achieving SDG 3: good health and well-being.

The city has been working tirelessly to combat streetism by providing shelter, education, and healthcare to these vulnerable children. In 2018, the Tamale Municipal Assembly launched the “Street Children Rehabilitation Program,” aimed at providing support to street kids and reintegrating them into society. The program offered a range of services, including:

  • Shelter: A network of community-based centres provides a safe haven for street children, offering food, clothing, and shelter.
  • Education: The program provides access to education, including literacy and numeracy classes, as well as vocational training.
  • Healthcare: Medical services are provided on-site, including treatment for common illnesses like malaria and tuberculosis.

One of the success stories is Ayisha’s. After being rescued from the streets, she was enrolled in the program’s educational component. She now attends school regularly and is making progress in her studies. “Education is key,” says Ayisha. ‘’ It’s helping me to learn new things and make better choices in life. I want to be able to read and write so I can have a better life than this one.”

The program’s impact extends beyond individual success stories. Data shows that the number of street children in Tamale has decreased significantly since the program’s inception. “In 2018, we had over 500 street children in Tamale,” says Emilia Akua Gideon, Program Manager at the Tamale Municipal Assembly. “Today, we’re down to around 200. It’s a huge success story.”

However, despite the progress made, there is still much work to be done. The city faces numerous challenges, including limited resources and inadequate infrastructure. “We need more support from the government and international organizations to continue this good work,” says Emilia. “We also need more resources to provide for the growing needs of these children.”

As Tamale continues to push forward with its Street Children Rehabilitation Program, it serves as a beacon of hope for other cities facing similar challenges. The pursuit of SDG 3 is a crucial step towards creating a better future for all.

Story written by Priscilla Dakurah

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