Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Lalibah Zweira Abdu has urged Ghanaians to stop giving money to begging street children.
According to her, the move would be a step to ending streetism whilst encouraging children to go to school.
She was speaking in an interview on City TV’s Face to Face show.
The minister revealed that the donation of money by some unsuspecting citizens to some beggars is a big business for people who are only interested in taking advantage of others.
She also pointed out that street begging had become a lucrative business for some parents as they are always happy to push their children out onto the streets to beg.
She advised Ghanaians to rethink their culture of donating money to street children by considering all these factors.
“It is not good to give money to school-going children. Why should I give money to a child who is supposed to be in school? So it is just business as usual. We, as Ghanaians, should also look at the culture of giving. If you don’t give, I don’t give, and after a week, he will leave.”
The Minister advised the citizens to stop giving out money to children to also encourage independence in the children.
She also believes that by ignoring the children, they would be encouraged to return to school as the business stops being lucrative.
“Let’s stop giving to the young ones. It is not good. If you train a child that way, he will depend on begging for who knows how long. Let him go to school. After a week, if no one gives him anything, he will go back to school. Some parents push their children to beg. They sit under a tree and tell their children to go and beg.”
In the case of people with disabilities begging on the streets, she pointed out that such people receive support through skills training.
She stated that the government is developing measures to get them off the streets.
“We are helping disabled communities to develop their skills, and our congregations are doing the same. We also have a common fund to help them. But you know, people are always happy to do whatever they can to make money. But we will look into it and develop some guidelines to find the best way for them to get off the streets.”