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23.01.2020 18:31:56 828x read.
WORKING WITH STREET CHILDREN. (CAS: Catholic Action for Street Children)

Catholic Action for street children (CAS) Ghana.

We have concluded another year (2019) of working with street children. Our researches, interventions and interactions have given us a lot of knowledge about street children. The year 2019 has become a very historical year because we have come to a series of conclusions which could be very helpful for future interventions with street children in Ghana.

Conclusion 1. Not one uniform group of street children exist, but there are several groups. This means, when talking about street children you have to mention one particular group. That you are referring to. The categories are:

a. Migrant children are those who come from the rural areas of Ghana. They are alone or with friends and often do not have any accommodation. They sleep in the streets. Some have a poor educational background.

b. Urban poor children are those who live with the parents or with single parent/their mother in a kind of a house. These children have a home to go to in the evening. Some have obtained some level of education and are partially protected by their parents.

c. Future generations of street children. These children live often with their mothers in the streets. The mother and father are street children or street young adults. These children have a very poor educational background. They often do not know how to behave and have no interest in education. They do not understand the word future but live from day to day. When preparing interventions for these three groups, the interventions have to be completely different in design (structure) to be able to obtain good results.

Conclusion 2. The main reason why children of group one and three are in the street is the break down of families. Although these families and individual children are poor, it is not the main reason why they are in the street. Neglect, indifference, and lack of care are the main reasons. Therefore; it is a social need which should be addressed as such.

Conclusion 3. It was encouraging to know that the NGOs were able to exchange ideas about street children with Government officials. Both groups were trying to find solutions for the many children who are in the streets. However, we are yet to see the desired results but there is hope that this dialogue continues. Neither the NGOs and the Government can solve this huge problem alone. It needs a collective effort.

Government has indeed the duty to protect the children while in the street but both parties have to concentrate on the families to find solutions. We are of the opinion that churches, associations, societies could be instrumental to assist families who are in difficulties. Churches could pay more attention to those who are divorced as well as support single mothers, for instance. Churches can also introduce after marriage counseling as a way of assisting newly married couples to understand marriage. They could open youth centers where all youth of various denomination are welcome. Schools of the diocese could allow children of poor families to enter and give them free education. However, there seems to be not much hope for all the children and young adults already in the streets.

Solutions can only be found on individual bases. It appears there are no solutions for the main group of street children. Society should never accept that children live and work in the streets. They do not belong there but they should living in a family setting. There are groups and individuals who try to glorify this phenomenon, but we are of the opinion that this is completely wrong. All these findings are published in the booklet. The Ghanaian street-child which can be found on CAS website;

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