SCEF calls for improved access to essential services for street children

Street Children Empowerment Foundation (SCEF) on Monday joined the international community to mark 2021International Day for Street Children, with a call on the government to make essential services such as health care, education and shelter accessible to street children to realise their fullest potential.

This is contained in a statement issued by SCEF in Accra, signed by Paul Semeh, the Executive Director of SCEF copied the Ghanaian Times.

The theme for this year’s celebration is“Access to Essential Services”.

The International Day for Street Children is marked every year on April 12, to draw attention the plight of millions of children on the streets across the globe for action to address their plight.

The theme is particularly significant, given the impact of COVID-19 on the vulnerable in society, especially street-connected children and their families as revealed by SCEF’s COVID-19 impact survey titled – Impact of COVID-19 on the livelihoods of street-connected families

“Making essential services such as healthcare, quality education among others accessible to street-connected children is now more important than ever, giving the impact of COVID-19. We need to remember that, none of us and our children are safe until every street child is safe’’, Mr Semeh, the Executive Director of SCEF noted.

Whilst recognising the efforts by the government to build an inclusive and safe society for all children, SCEF wishes to highlight three priority areas that will enhance the welfare of children at various stages such as life before the streets, live on streets and life after they exit the streets.

The statement said “all children currently living within households, families and communities must have access to friendship and playtime (just being children); holistic wellbeing & development, education & mental health needs, healthy and positive relationships, loving and caring family, food, healthcare, safe sleeping environments, positive and meaningful faith experiences, protection from abuse and violence. Access to these will help reduce the desire to move to the streets.

It added that “in the unfortunate event that they end up on the streets as thousands of them have, they are still entitled to access essential services such as skills training and family reunification, food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, counselling, safe spaces to express themselves, to be heard, to play among others.”

Upon successful exit from the streets, the SCEF advocates that children would still have access to education and skills training, opportunities for family reunification and reintegration education on child and human rights, food, water, healthcare, safe accommodation, safe spaces – understanding and accepting street residents for who they are and empowering them.

By Times Reporter

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