Accra, April 27, GNA - There are more than 50,000 street children in Accra alone and the figure is likely to double by 2015 if the situation is not addressed, a survey available at Ghana Statistical Services has indicated.
The 2010 survey, which was conducted in collaboration with the Catholic Action for Street Children, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) revealed that the children mostly worked for food, clothing and shelter.
Mr Paul Semeh, Project Manager of Street Children Empowerment Foundation (SCEF), an NGO, made this known in Accra at a forum.
The forum, which was co-organised by SCEF and Plan Ghana (PG), an NGO, provided the platform for children to discuss: \"Streetism in Ghana- Causes, Effects and Solutions.\"
Mr Semeh said the objective of the event was to help children identify the causes, effects and solutions to the ever-increasing social canker.
This, he said, would enable stakeholders to \"see\" the menace from the perspective of children and to fashion out remedial measures.
\"Education is a human right and it is our hope that by engaging children on the topic we will teach them how to fish in order that they may learn to find food for themselves for the future,\" he said.
Mr Semeh said SCEF was established to empower street children through skills training; counselling and advocacy programmes to enable them secure employment or start their own businesses.
\"Our mission is to raise the needed fund to enable street children to participate in formal education from the primary to tertiary level. Those not academically-inclined are helped to find placement in vocational training institutes.\"
Mr George Cobbinah Yorke, Advocacy and Governance Adviser for PG said partnership with SCEF was necessary because the issue of street children was a huge one that required collaboration with other organisations to solve.
He said PG was working in many rural areas to empower mostly victims to serve as development partners and agents of change.
Mr Yorke observed that children had the potential to serve as ambassadors for their communities, adding that PG had trained many of such ambassadors to raise awareness of the challenges facing children in Ghana.
Sixteen year old Wutor Mahama Baleng, who is a \"Child Ambassador\" from Bole in the Northern Region, expressed confidence that education and awareness creation, especially through the media, would enable government and corporate Ghana to respond to ameliorate the poor living conditions of street children.