Can Streetism ever be eradicated in Ghana? In 2011, there were over 60,000 children on the streets of Accra according to the Ministry Of Gender, Social And Children Protection. A one-day stakeholders’ consultative and validation workshop on ‘street connected children’ was organized in Accra in the year 2021. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) with support from UNICEF. Children connected to the street and related issues keeps compounding in Ghana.
The essence of the workshop was to enable the Ministry and its relevant stakeholders strategize and develop a plan to effectively address the issue of street connected children. Poverty, peer pressure, false perception of city life, the glittering lights and unreasonable parenting are the major causes attributable to the menace in addition to neglect of guardian or parenting responsibilities were some of the noticeable causes of streetism in Ghana.
In the book “Forest in The Wilderness: Life Inside A Ghanaian Orphanage” page 111, the author stated that
Many of the street kids have never seen the Bible. Every cunning faculty is intensely stimulated. They are shrewd and old in a vice when other children are in leading strings. Few influences which are kind and good ever reach the vagrant boy. And, yet, among themselves, they show greats and honest traits. Kindness can always touch them.
The girls, too often, grow up even more pitiable and deserted. Until recently, no one has ever cared for them. They are the crosswalk sweepers, the little apple-peddlers, and candy-sellers of our city; or, by more questionable means, they earn their scanty bread. They traverse the low, vile streets alone and live without their mother or friends or any share in what we should call Home. They also know little of God or Christ, except by name. They grow up passionate, ungoverned, with no love or kindness ever to soften the heart. We all know their short wildlife—and the sad end.
It should be remembered that these boys and girls will soon form the great lower class of our city. They will influence elections; they may shape the city’s policy; they will, assuredly, if un-reclaimed, poison society all around them. They will help form the great multitude of robbers, thieves, vagrants, and prostitutes who are now such a burden upon the law-respecting community.
Modern day orphanages can be restructured or renamed to keep most of the kids connected to the streets until their real families are found. Let us all fight against streetism before it fights us back real hard.
What do you think?