The Street Children Empowerment Foundation (SCEF), a non-governmental organisation working to help rescue children on the street, has appealed to stakeholders to support its initiative in pursuing its goals.
According to the foundation, a number of children between the ages of six and 14 homeless and roaming the streets is becoming alarming.
A situation, the foundation observed, had exposed some children to engage in various hazardous lifestyles, including begging on the street and engaging in commercial sex work, which could cripple their future aspirations, hence the need for a collective effort by individuals and corporate entities to support the foundation in its quest to save the lives of the children.
At the organisation’s sixth anniversary and fundraising dinner dance in Accra last Saturday, a board member of SCEF, Mr Benjamin Akyena Brebtuo, underscored the need for the institution of relevant measures to curb the issue of street children in the country.
According to him, the organisation started implementing a project, Children in Hazardous Work (CHaW), which was designed in 2015, with the aim of rescuing 100 children between the ages of six and 14 who were engaged in hazardous work and were residents of the Asiedu Keteke sub-Metro within the Accra Metropolis.
The children, the board member said, were homeless and engaged in fishing, collection of scrap, commercial sex or worked as head porters along the streets of Accra. They were therefore vulnerable to unfortunate incidents when left uncatered for.
However, he said, the foundation's target of rescuing 100 children was not achieved, owing to financial constraints "and we were able to rescue only 40 children.
"We are, therefore, appealing to individuals and corporate institutions to support the foundation in reaching out to the remaining 60 children.”
Most of the beneficiaries, he said, had been reunited with their families, while others had been enrolled in schools or engaged in skills development training initiatives.
The Children’s Act of 1998 (Act 560) defines a child as anyone under the age of 18. Section 18 of the Act stipulates when a child needs care and protection and whose responsibility it is to provide same.
Child protection issues are seen in the area of child survival, development, protection and participation.
The growing trend in the number of children found on the streets of Accra and some commercial cities across the country contravenes sections of Act 560.