Lilongwea: World Vision Malawi (WVM) said stakeholders need to come up with clear intervention which could help reduce cases of street children in the country.
WVM Director of Advocacy, Communications and Justice for Children, Charles Gwengwe said this Thursday in Lilongwe as part of the commemoration of this year’s International Day for Street Children.
He noted that some of the interventions that are being used by various stakeholders dealing with issues of street children are failing to produce desirable results.
“A lot of efforts have been made over the years to curb the issue of street children but out cities still playing host to a number of them on daily basis,” Gwengwe observed.
The Director said WVM believes that the interventions being used now are missing out a vital component which could help the street children to return to their respective communities without having a feeling of returning to the streets.
“As stakeholders were need to basically to look at the root causes and understand them and find options which can be valuable to make a street kid have a feel that he belongs to the community and not the street,” he suggested.
Gwengwe pointed out that WVM wants stakeholders to do away with rhetoric approaches which are not bearing tangible results.
The Director appealed to government to strengthen the office of Social Welfare so that it should have capacity to handle issues of street children holistically.
Gwengwe said the office plays a vital role in caring, protecting and integrating street children into their communities without force.
Chief Protection Officer in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Enock Bonongwe said statistics have shown that there are 5,000 registered street children in the country.
He said 80 per cent of them have permanent homes and relatives but they have opted to operate in the streets.
Bonongwe attributed to the increase of street children to family dysfunction and not poverty related issues.
“We have information that some street children have opted to remain in the city streets as a means of survival through begging arms,” the officer added.
Executive Director of the Eye of the Child, Maxwell Matewere said data management and collection is essential to the country in order for stakeholders to come up with appropriate interventions.
He said a lot of lobbying among all stakeholders is needed in order to forge a head to ensuring that issues of street children are implemented collectively.
Matewere explained that the country’s laws provide protection to the street children hence the need to enforce them at all levels.
He added that parents should be incorporated into programmes which are aimed at addressing the issues of street children.
International Day for Street Children is celebrated every year on April 12.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA