More than 180 street children in Accra, on Tuesday, received packed hot meals, some toiletries, gari, sugar, sardines, condoms and sanitary towels as Christmas gifts from the ‘Enhancing Youth through Education and Health (EYEH) Soup Kitchen’, a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO).
The NGO in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Department of Children, under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Department of Social Welfare and Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), undertook the donation to Efua Southerland Children’s Park, Operbea and Shiashie.
A Director, EYEH Soup Kitchen, Mrs Elizabeth Quarshie- Idun, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, said the gesture formed part of the organisation’s social responsibilities to get the children out of the street and give them a better future.
“We extend our benevolence every month to street children but this is a special one UNFPA decided to extend its support to cater for the children this festive season,” she added.
She said EYEH Soup Kitchen, was an NGO run by a group of retired career women, who, once every Wednesday gather between 50-100 street children at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park, where they feed and counsel them but since the COVID-19 pandemic, they meet once every month to cater for 150-200 street kids and youth.
Mrs Quarshie- Idun said the children who came from different parts of the streets in Accra were also taken through medical screening, spiritual up-liftment, career and educational guidance and recreational activities.
She indicated that the organisation aimed to provide shelter and equip the street children with education and skills to take care of themselves and contribute to nation building.
“We’re thinking of identifying about 15 younger kids between the ages of 10-15 to put them into basic schools under the care of officials from social welfare and some medical assistants to give them counseling and guidance so that they will be able to find something to do in the future,” she said.
Mrs Quarshie- Idun said the organsation had been able to train some younger ones who had completed TVET and were currently having their skills to cater for themselves.
She appealed to pharmaceutical companies and other stakeholders to support them with medical supplies to enable them execute the programme.
Noble Akwasi Acquah, a 21-year old former street boy from Togo, told the Ghanaian Times, that he was introduced to the EYEH Soup Kitchen’s weekly programme, and after serious commitment to the course, he was housed at the Medina shelter, and has currently completed an electrical apprenticeship programme at Madina Vocational Institute.
He thanked his benefactors for the support and opportunity to ‘revive’ his life, and expressed his desire to extend his expertise as an electrician to some of his colleagues to also have a future.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR