General News of Wednesday, 3 October 2018
Gender Minister Designate, Cynthia Morrison, has stressed that her quest to move youngsters out of the streets is not only a dream but a passion.
According to her it is an error and a saddening situation to see children at tender ages striving to make ends meet through begging or selling instead of being in school.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), in collaboration with La Dadekopton Municipal Assembly (LADMA), begun a special exercise to take street children and beggars off the streets of Accra in May 2018.
About 200 persons including children believed to be from Niger and Nigeria were picked from some ceremonial routes, streets, under bridges, and in traffic, begging for alms from benevolent individuals.
Former Gender Minister and Social Protection, Otiko Djaba, who expressed her displeasure about how some parents send out children below the ages of 18 years to sell on highways, work on their farms while others give out their children as house helps, described their acts as “criminal, wicked and cruel.”
During an interview at the UN Youth Summit held in Accra today, the designate Minister reiterating the disapproval of her predecessor, stated that parents who do not have jobs should look for something to do rather than use their children as money making tools which to her, is not acceptable.
Mrs. Morrison further argued that guardians who use lack of funds and expensive tuition fees as an excuse for not sending their wards to school must desist from that as public schools are basically free.
“So not only I’m I speaking as a gender Designate but I’m speaking as a mother who so passionate about children. I run a school and I know how beautiful it is to have children in school.” She stressed.
On the issue of disabled persons, she indicated that although most of these people on the road are beneficiaries of Common Fund for Persons with Disability (PWDs) to start or establish small-scale businesses, they prefer to be on the street and beg for alms.
Her greatest problem, she lamented, has to do with those on the streets are those who sit on boards with tiny wheels under them due to the high tendency of being victims of road accidents.
“I saw one accident. A lady had closed from work and she just run into one of them. The hazard on the road, it is so bad. Even if they home and people are taking care of them, it is better than exposing them on the road.” She narrated.
To her, the solution is for government to ensure that their monthly stipends are given to them while those who have learnt some forms of trade focus on that and rely on the easy way out.