Gov’t. To Tackle ‘Streetism’ Differently

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It is hard enough being homeless, but for women and children, it is more perilous―it comes with extra challenges―the threat of sexual violence and cruelty raises its ugly head, times without number.

But the government of Ghana, under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection says it is taking enormous strides to rid the streets off children and to give them a better alternative.

The Ministry believes that in no time ‘streetism’ would be brought to the barest minimum to ensure the re-integration of victims into mainstream society.

To ensure that this becomes a reality, the Ministry in collaboration with the Social Welfare has reiterated its “Operation Get Off The Streets Now For A Better Life” campaign.

Speaking at an event that marked the International Day for Street Children, yesterday, in Accra, the Acting Director at the Department of Social Welfare, Mr Gbeawu Daniel Nonah said, this timely intervention would be different from subsequent ones.

According to him, “When we send them back home, we need to monitor them. When they face any challenge, we need to go there and resolve it. What we have planned is an intensive programme and we are going to ensure that anybody we pick in reintegrated into the community and not to come back to the street.”

“Those that are young would be sent to school. Those that are of age would have some vocational training,” Mr Nonah noted.

According to him, after completion of their training, the individuals would be given capital to continue life.

For all and sundry

Mr Nonah says, the Ministry is not just targeting children but every single person living on the street.

Though it looks like a mirage, the Gender Ministry is confident that they can follow through with their plans.

According to them, they are collaborating with non-governmental organisation (NGOs) to garner funds for the project.

They have also appealed to well-meaning Ghanaians and cooperate organisation to be part of the fight against ‘streetism’.

By September 2018 the ministry hopes to return to school, all children living on the street.

We were Not Hungry

Interacting with some of the head porters commonly known as ‘kayayie’, they said it was not hunger that brought them to Accra, but the fact that they wanted a better life.

Some of them are ready to return to their families in the north if government would provide them with a better source of income.

“We would stop coming down to Accra, if more jobs would be created for us at home,” Fusiena, a 23-year-old porter said.

Madam Rose Awujah, a retired teacher who works and lives with some of the head porters advocated for government to set up a day care centre to cater for babies of the kayayie while they work.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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