The Gender Minister, Otiko Afisah Djaba, has appealed to corporate organisations to support the government’s initiative to get children off the streets.
In a statement issued Thursday to commemorate the International Day for Street Children, Ms Afisah Djaba re-echoed the commitment of President Nana Akufo-Addo, to addressing the social menace through the introduction of several intervention policies, including ‘#operation get off the street now for a better life project’.
“The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection will ensure that these street children are not left behind in the development agenda of this country. The NPP government under the able leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has good initiatives to provide hand-ups to all vulnerable people to take them out of extreme poverty.
“The Government aims to create a society of fair opportunities for all Ghanaians. The Government will help create a fair and inclusive society, which ensures that all citizens share in the country’s wealth and prosperity,” the statement read in part.
Full Statement Below:
CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR STREET CHILDREN
The International Day for Street Children (IDSC) is marked annually on the 12th of April. The day provides a platform for the millions of children on the streets around the world and their campaigners to speak out so that their rights are not ignored.
It also serves as an opportunity for nations together with NGOs, Civil Society Organizations etc to reflect on the plight of these vulnerable children, assesses the progress of programmes and interventions and strategize on the way forward to help these children become beneficial to themselves and society.
The existence of street persons is directly related to social challenges. These include poverty, urbanization, the HIV/Aids pandemic, lack of basic education and life skills, and the breakdown of extended families as well as negative effects of social and economic reforms. The majority of street persons, therefore, come from families living in difficult circumstances.
As a result, they find themselves on the streets to look for means of survival.
Over the years government and other stakeholders including NGOs/CSOs/FBOs have developed and implemented projects to support these persons on the streets. Even though much has been done in this regard, we all recognize the fact that more work needs to be done.
The theme for the 8th edition of the celebration is “turn words into reality”, and as Ghana joins the community of nations to celebrate the day, she can boldly relate to the theme as Government has taken the initiative to indeed turn words into reality by walking the talk in initiating ‘#OPERATION GET OFF THE STREET NOW FOR A BETTER LIFE PROJECT’
The target groups are;
Persons with mental health problems,
Persons With Disabilities,
Kaya (Head Porter),
Family in The Street, Abused Children,
The main object of the Project is to provide a better alternative to street life and integrate persons back into families and communities.
Among others, the specific objectives include:
a) Identify and deliver the core set of basic services that have the potential of securing the reintegration of persons on the street into mainstream society;
b) Strengthening of policies that address the causes of streetism;
c) Development of mechanisms for coordination of activities involved in delivery services to persons on the street; and
d) Advocacy activities to lobby support for addressing the phenomenon
1. A Strategic Plan and a Concept Paper on the persons on the street covering Street children, Street beggars, Street Hawkers, Begging Aids, Destitute, Persons with Disabilities, Mentally Challenged Persons, Family in the Street, Commercial sex workers and Persons Displaced (Migrants) developed
2. National Technical Steering Committee (NTSC) to guide the implementation of the Program have been formed and functional.
3. Implementation Technical Committee on Streetism formed and functional
4. Data collection instrument designed and developed.
5. Three Hundred and forty-five (345) Hotspots areas identified within the Ten (10) region.
6. Training manual for Data collection exercise developed.
7. Pre-testing of the data instrument has been carried out.
8. 4,809 data on persons on the street collected at Greater Accra region for analysis.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection will ensure that these street children are not left behind in the development agenda of this country. The NPP government under the able leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has good initiatives to provide hand-ups to all vulnerable people to take them out of extreme poverty.
The Government aims to create a society of fair opportunities for all Ghanaians. The Government will help create a fair and inclusive society, which ensures that all citizens share in the country’s wealth and prosperity.
I will want to use this opportunity to call on all stakeholders, development partners, donors and individual s and corporate organizations to partner with us to roll up our sleeves, and together work hand in hand to address this social menace as we turn words into reality for the many children found on the street who are the future of mother Ghana.
HON. OTIKO AFISAH DJABA