Magazine article New Internationalist

A Chance to Tell Their Story: Street Festival Offers Hope to Ghana's Homeless Children

Magazine article New Internationalist

A Chance to Tell Their Story: Street Festival Offers Hope to Ghana's Homeless Children

Article excerpt

A chance to tell their story

Street festival offers hope to Ghana's homeless children

A STREET YOUTH festival is being organized in the Ghanaian capital city of Accra to benefit its 45,000 street children.

During the last decade economic pressure due, in part, to the implementation of structural - adjustment policies have made it impossible for Ghanaian families to provide the support they once gave their members. As a result increasing numbers of Ghanaian children are being forced on to the streets. There are even street children in Ghana's small rural towns and villages. Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, Chairman of Ghana's Council of State, admits that: 'We cannot delude ourselves that the problem is limited to urban areas.'

Most street children, some as young as six, are engaged in menial labour. They work as shoe shiners, coolies, trolley pushers and trinket sellers, while some are undeniably engaged in prostitution. Government efforts to reduce the number of children on the street have been negligible, largely because 73 per cent of the Ministry's budget goes into salaries alone. …

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