‘Street children should be in homes’

Lilongwe, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Dr. Jean Kalilani Wednesday said street-connected children should be placed in homes.

She said this in Lilongwe during the commemoration of International Day of Street Children which falls on April 12 every year.

Kalilani noted that there was an increase in number of street children in the countries cities, a thing she described as worrisome.

“In Blantyre and Lilongwe we have about 5,000 street children and 3,000 of them are in the city of Lilongwe. I am sure that the population of Malawi can contain them,” the Minister explained.

She added that some of these children run away from their homes because of poverty, hunger and orphan-hood among others.

The Minister encouraged people in the country to adopt and send street-connected children to school for them to become recognized citizens.

Executive Director for Chisomo Children’s Club, Charles Gwengwe, said there were about 10,000 street children in Malawi and that the number was growing by the day.

He said the problem could be resolved if all people in the country joined hands together to remove the street children.

One of the children who were removed from the street, Happy Banda, a second year student at African Bible College (ABC) in Lilongwe said not all the children found on the street take it as their homes, but they are forced due to problems beyond their control.

He said he lived on the streets of Lilongwe for two years after he lost both parents and had nobody to assist him to complete his education until he was rescued by one of charity organizations in the city.

Banda commended the efforts by organizations and other families that have the heart to rescue street-connected children by giving them homes and future.

He said if people took time to chat with street children to hear their stories they would surely be moved to assist them.

The Ministry also launched Customer Service Charter to provide the policy guidelines for those that are working with street children and the Lilongwe Charter to allow people and organization that are dealing with street children to join hands and work together.

The world commemorates International Day for Street Children each year on 12th April and in Malawi this is the third year the event took place.

Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA