Enhancing Youth Education and Health (EYEH), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has embarked on an exercise to take vulnerable children off the streets, by providing them with education and life skills.
EYEH, which is made up of a group of retired Ghanaian international civil servants, said it has so far given vocational skills training to 21 street children, while others were receiving basic and second cycle education, to enable them to achieve their dreams.
“As Ghanaians who have served with various international organisations outside the country and having retired and come back home, it is our responsibility to ensure that we contribute our widow’s mite, by assisting street children to lead meaningful lives,” Mrs Adjoa Amana, a director of EYEH, said.
Speaking to journalists at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra where the organisation hosted a Christmas soup kitchen for street children in Accra last Wednesday, she said it was time to take all Ghanaian children off the street.
Mrs Amana and other Ghanaian retired expatriates were grateful to the UNFPA, Max Mart, individuals and philanthropic organisations for sponsoring the EYEH soup kitchen project.
She said similar soup kitchen was extended to street children at Kantamanto, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Kaneshie, all in Accra, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, “we had to limit our outreach programme this year.”
Mrs Amana said the NGO worked with the Department of Children, under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and other stakeholders, including; the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in addressing streetism.
Mr Seth Appeagyei, a social worker, and psyco-social analyst, who is also in-charge of Streetism at the Department of Gender, stated that, his outfit, worked with civil society organisations, NGOs and development partners to address streetism.
He explained that since the inception of the EYEH project last year, about 21 street children had reunited with their families, while some were enrolled under various apprenticeship programmes.
The target, he said, was to get as many children as possible out of the streets by 2030, and encouraged parents and guardians, to contact the ministry for appropriate guidance and referrals to civil society organisations and NGOs, who were trained to offer such social services.
About 150 street children in the Accra Central Business District and the Opeibea Area, near the Airport, in Accra, were provided with packed meals, assorted clothing, toiletries and other Christmas goodies.
They also benefited from free medical screening for various ailments and treatment, and received spiritual and psychological counselling by the EYEH team and their collaborating partners.
Some of the children who spoke to journalists, expressed gratitude to the EYEH for their humanitarian assistance, and hoped other NGOs would come to their aid to get them off the streets.
BY NORMAN COOPER
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