The United Nations Population Fund Ghana (UNFPA Ghana) has partnered with Non-Governmental Organization, Enhancing Youth Education and Health (EYEH) Soup Kitchen and other organizations to support street children in Accra with basic items for their upkeep.
The distribution of these items were done on Tuesday December 20, 2022 at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park, the Airport Residential Area; behind Opeibea House and the Shiashie Traffic light.
The packages for the street children included items like gari, milo, milk, mackerel, condoms for the males and sanitary pads for the females.
Speaking to UniversNews, Director of EYEH Soup Kitchen, Elizabeth Quarshie-Idun said that the main reason for distributing these packages is to give the children hope and an opportunity at bettering their lives.
“So we meet once a month. But before COVID, we were meeting every Wednesday, and it’s just to give hope to the street kids. We are a group of retired ladies. So we’ve come together and we give them free medical care. We give them hot food just to entice them. We started with 15 boys, put them in vocational schools. Now we have only five, three graduated as electricians, and they came to the park to showcase themselves so the boys know it is doable. And they’ve seen hope that yes, if we leave the streets, if we leave our bad habits, we can also do something for society. So we are hoping that when we start in January, we will get more kids off the streets. We also encourage them to go back home And we are hoping to take on board more kids, but this time, younger kids to put into basic schools,” she said.
Ms Elizabeth Quarshie-Idun added that rural-urban migration has been one of the main reasons why children are left homeless on the streets of Accra.
She called on the public to aid in their quest to get more children off the streets.
“There’s a problem. And there are some from way out of Accra; it’s the same story. They’re either orphans, or they’ve been left with their grandparents, the grandparents are old. So they are told to come to Accra to make money on the streets and then they come, they see and they don’t have the money to go back. So it is a big problem and It’s all a question of money. If we get someone to give us a land or give us a home, or whatever, we can ask our partners to help us and then we will do something. This is our aim to get as many kids off the street and teach them a skill,” she said.
She further expressed gratitude to UNFPA Ghana and their other partners for their generosity and support in helping the homeless children in Accra.
They [UNFPA Ghana] have been very generous. During COVID, they gave us a lot of dignity pants, and a lot of food for the distribution, and they are doing it again this year for us. And we have also PPAG, they gave us free medical care for the children.
Because UNFPA is a partner, they provide sex education and also PPAG, they also provide the sex education because there’s a lot of promiscuity, you know, they live on the streets. We have five kids who had babies during the COVID. Their ages were between 18 and 21. So just to talk to them, and there’s a lot of rape too amongst them. So they sleep on the streets, no protection. So we have to educate them and thanks to the COVID Centre, we have 78 kids who are vaccinated against COVID two months ago, and we’re also able to, through the NHIS Secretariat, provide them with NHIS cards because some have never been to the doctors and they need something to go to the hospitals,” she added.
Distribution at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park
Distribution at the Airport Residential Area, behind Opeibea House
Distribution at the Shiashie Traffic Light
Story by: Kelly Adjetey Boye | univers.ug.edu.gh