The Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Lariba Zuweira Abudu, has called on Ghanaians to quit giving money to children begging on the street because it keeps them on the street.
In a Minister’s Press Briefing held at the Ministry of Information yesterday, June 4, the Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection addressed issues of the school feeding program, the adjustments made so far, and general gender-related issues.
In response to a question on the steps the ministry has taken to get children begging off the street and people giving food to mad men, she identified Ghanaians culture of giving as a contributing factor to their staying on the street.
She mentioned that, these beggars come from our neighboring countries, and there has been engagement with their respective embassies to repatriate them. The embassies complain about the logistics of sending them back, but when logistical aid is given to repatriate them, they come back into the country again.
“We are doing all we can to send them back. Most of them are coming from neighboring countries. Sometimes they tell you, “For now, we don’t have the logistics to send them back home,” and we did, and they are back. We have engaged the embassies of some of the countries that we think they are coming from, Burkina Faso, Niger, and we have even repatriated some of them—about 400—and they will go and find another way back,” she stated.
She attributed our culture of giving to minors as the cause of their perpetual stay on the streets. She lamented the attitude toward giving to minors and deemed it as abusiness.
“So it is the culture, our culture of the way we give to these minors that is why they are on the streets so we should look at it as a country where you don’t give a minor money”
“If a child is 6 years and he is begging, why do you give the child money?It is business as usual, we also as a country should look at it” She said.
She reassured the ministry’s commitment to dealing with the menace but also called on the collective effort of Ghanaians to deal with same.
She hinted that “If you don’t give today, I don’t give tomorrow, somebody doesn’t give one week, they will go back to school”
She further mentioned imminent steps to be taken with the media to deal with the issue on the street.
The issue of children begging has been tackled by the government through various channels. The Accra Police Command warned of a series of operation to clear these children from the street.