Eye of the Child for more action on street children

Lilongwe: Eye of the Child feels various stakeholders can do better to curb the raising number of street children in the country.

Executive Director for the Eye of the Child, Maxwell Matewere made the observation Thursday during an interview with the media in Lilongwe as part of the commemoration of International Day of Street Children.

He noted that although a number of interventions have been put in place by various stakeholders in order to curb the vice the numbers are still increasing by day.

“We have at 17 million people now and out that 5,000 are registered street children. It is projected that by 2030 the county’s population will be 30 million and how many street children are we going to have then,” Matewere wondered.

He said it is everybody’s responsibility to join hands to ensure that has made a contribution to prevent or rescue a street child.

The Director noted that the children in streets are being subjected to a lot of abuses and this call for their protection and support.

He said street children need to be integrated into their communities so that they should contribute positively to the economic development of the country.

Matewere pointed out that Child protection act empowers district councils to implement programmes which could help street children to be integrated to their communities.

“We view that councils as strategic partners in the protection and care of the street children but the only challenge we are facing is that they are not proactive in their implementation of their programmes,” he bemoaned.

Matewere observed that some government policies, initiatives and programmes have left out some key players in its implementation to ending the malpractice.

” We need to involve parents and children to appreciate their situation if we can everlasting solutions to address the issue of street children within various communities,” Matewere observed.

He said programmes should be designed to reflex and incorporate the real needs of the street children in order to achieve a prevention or rescue intervention.

Chief Protection Officer in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Enock Bonongwe said government is committed to ensuring that all street children are protected from all forms of abuse.

He said most street children are subjected to nasty environment which force them to indulge into criminal acts within the cities.

“As a Ministry, we are working with children clubs like Chisomo, Tikondane and St John of God to to see how best we can use them as integrating centres for most street children,” Bonongwe explained.

The Officer appealed to Non- Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organisations to come forward to help government address the issue of street children in the country.

Malawi did not hold any public function to celebrate the day unlike last year where the commemoration of the Day was held at Shoprite car part in old town opposite game park and the guest of honour was the Minister responsible.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA