Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Lariba Zuweira Abudu, has urged Ghanaians to stop giving money to street children who beg for alms.
She believes that streetism will be a thing of the past if everyone stops giving money to the children who are supposed to be in school with their peers.
In an interview with Umaru Sanda Amadu on Citi TV’s Face to Face, the Minister said that the act of begging for money from unsuspecting members of the public is a big business for some unknown people who are only interested in taking advantage of others.
The Minister observed that street begging has become a lucrative business for some parents, who are always eager to push their children onto the streets to beg. She advised Ghanaians to reconsider the culture of giving money to street children.
It is not good to give money to school-going children. Why should I give money to a child who is supposed to be in school? So it is just business as usual. We, as Ghanaians, should also look at the culture of giving. If you don’t give, I don’t give, and after a week, he will leave.
“Let’s stop giving to the young ones. It is not good. If you train a child that way, he will depend on begging for who knows how long. Let him go to school. After a week, if no one gives him anything, he will go back to school. Some parents push their children to beg. They sit under a tree and tell their children to go and beg,” the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection advised.
She indicated that people living with disabilities are being supported with skills training, and that the government will come up with policies to help them get off the streets.
“We have supported the disabled community in terms of skills training, and the Assemblies are also doing it. There is also the Common Fund, which helps them. But you know, human beings are always comfortable doing whatever they can to make money. But we will look at it and come up with some policies to see how best we can help them get off the streets,” the Gender Minister.
She said that most of the street beggars are foreign nationals.
“If you do an analysis, you will realize that most of the street beggars are from neighbouring countries. Ghanaians are not that many. We did a research,” she noted.