The Street Children Empowerment Foundation (SCEF) has joined civil society organisations around the world, particularly in Ghana to highlight the challenges faced by street-connected children and called on government to deepen its commitment to promoting their welfare.

To commemorate this year’s International Day for Street Children, themed “Access to Essential Services”, the Non-Governmental Organisation says government must take action so that street children can access the services they need to reach their fullest potential.

A statement issued by SCEF stated that the theme is particularly significant, given the impact of Covid-19 on the vulnerable in society, especially street-connected children and their families.

“Making essential services such as healthcare, quality education among others accessible to street-connected children is now more important than ever, giving the impact of Covid-19. We need to remember that none of us and our children are safe until every street child is safe’’, Paul Semeh, the Executive Director of SCEF noted.

Whilst recognising the efforts by government to build an inclusive and safe society for all children, SCEF wishes to highlight three priority areas that will enhance the welfare of children at various stages such as life before the streets, life on streets and life after they exit the streets. These areas are:

  • All children currently living within households, families and communities must have access to friendship and playtime (just being children); holistic wellbeing & development, education & mental health needs, healthy and positive relationships, loving and caring family, food, healthcare, safe sleeping environments, positive and meaningful faith experiences, protection from abuse and violence. Access to these will help reduce the desire to move to the streets.
  • In the unfortunate event that they end up on the streets as thousands of them have, they are still entitled to access essential services such as skills training and family reunification, food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, counselling, safe spaces to express themselves, to be heard, to play among others.
  • Upon successful exit from the streets, we advocate that children will still have access to education and skills training, opportunities for family reunification and reintegration education on child and human rights, food, water, healthcare, safe accommodation, safe spaces – understanding and accepting street residents for who they are and empowering them.

SCEF is hopeful that as Ghana strives to leave no one behind in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, government will continue to actively work towards upholding the rights of street-connected children in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the 1992 Constitution of the republic of Ghana.

Street Children Empowerment Foundation (SCEF) is a non-profit organisation that is committed to transforming the lives of street-connected children by rescuing, rehabilitating and reintegrating them.