Protect children living on streets in Gbawe Ghana
Gbawe is a town in the Greater Accra region of southeastern Ghana near the capital Accra and a decent amount of its population come under the category if children, out of which, unfortunately, some children live on the streets. Children who spend most of their lives on street are knows as street children, thrown away children or even homeless children. Most of them are forced by the social evil named poverty to reside on the streets and call it their home which is very unfortunate. Housing is one of the basic human needs, that a human has a right to fulfill, however, this basic human need is now a distant dream for many children and they may perhaps spend their whole life on the streets. We, as humans need to make sure that we protect children living on streets in Gbawe Ghana or an any other part of the African continent or perhaps the globe as well.
Street children can be found in a large majority of the world’s cities, with the phenomenon more prevalent in densely populated urban hubs of developing or economically unstable regions, such as countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. According to a report from the Consortium for Street Children, a United Kingdom-based consortium of related non-governmental organizations (NGOs), UNICEF estimated that 100 million children were growing up on urban streets around the world. Fourteen years later, in 2002, UNICEF similarly reported, “The latest estimates put the numbers of these children as high as one hundred million”. More recently the organization added, “The exact number of street children is impossible to quantify, but the figure almost certainly runs into tens of millions across the world. It is likely that the numbers are increasing.”] The one hundred million figure is still commonly cited for street children, but has no basis in fact. Similarly, it is debatable whether numbers of street children are growing globally, or whether it is the awareness of street children within societies that has grown.
There are an estimated 250,000 street children in Kenya and over 60,000 in the capital Nairobi. Rapid and unsustainable urbanization in the post-colonial period, which led to entrenched urban poverty in cities such as Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa is an underlying cause of child homelessness. Rural-urban migration broke up extended families which had previously acted as a support network, taking care of children in cases of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has reported that glue sniffing is at the core of “street culture” in Nairobi, and that the majority of street children in the city are habitual solvent users. Research conducted by Cottrell-Boyce for the African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies found that glue sniffing amongst Kenyan street children was primarily functional dulling the senses against the hardship of life on the street – but it also provided a link to the support structure of the ‘street family’ as a potent symbol of shared experience.
Many governments, nongovernmental organizations, and members of civil society around the world have increased their attention on homeless and street children as the number of this disenfranchised population continues to grow dramatically. Nonetheless, more action is necessary. Most importantly, as a result of adverse economic conditions in many countries, an international plan to provide basic housing needs to be developed. In 1992, the United Nations issued a Resolution on the Plight of Street Children, expressing concern over the emergence and marginalization of street children, and the acts of violence against them. The Resolution called for international cooperation to address the needs of homeless children and for enforcement of international child rights laws. European nations that have taken effective steps toward combating homelessness include Belgium , Finland , the Netherlands , Portugal , and Spain . In many countries, governments have included a right to housing in the national constitution. The Finnish devised a plan in 1987 including house-building, social welfare, health care service, and a duty to provide a decent home for every homeless person. The number of homeless people in Finland was cut in half after 10 years. However, the major problem with State programs is that children often reject the alternative assistance offered by the State. On a local and regional level, initiatives have been taken to assist street children, often through shelters. Many shelters have programs designed to provide safety, healthcare, counseling, education, vocational training, legal aid, and other social services. Some shelters also provide regular individual contact, offering much-needed love and care. With all of the above efforts in various countries and particularly in Africa we can surely be able to protect children living on streets in Gbawe Ghana.
They are seen as a nuisance, all over the streets, chasing after people for ‘something little’ to get food with, and or forcefully cleaning the screens of cars, to see if they will get lucky with a kind driver who will spare them a few coins, or perhaps hawking a few things to get some money at least till God provides the next day, this, is most often than not, the sad and distressing situation of children who live on the streets and in structures you can barely call “home”, as a means of survival. These children, who under normal circumstances should be protected and be in school sleep on the streets most of them in groups, putting their lives at the peril of cruel persons who may want to take advantage of them and exploit them. These children will be able to lead an ordinary life only when we take it upon ourselves to help them in any which way we can. Children living on streets in most part of the world are vulnerable and can be taken advantage of easily, they can be bribed by as simple as a small candy. The repercussions of which will probably be disastrous, hence, we as humans, collectively need to protect children living on streets in Gbawe Ghana and see to that, that they grow up to be strong and responsible adults, who, then can take care of their children and not force them to live on the streets.