Saturday, July 13, 2024

Shelter being built to serve street children in Akaki sub city


The Addis Ababa city administration is in the finals stages of providing shelter and other direct support to 5,600 street boys and girls in the capital city.
The support which includes food, health service, education and rehabilitation should begin in the next six months. The land needed to build the shelter has been prepared in Akaki Sub City and construction is expected to begin soon.
The target group of this program is children without homes and family ties which are mostly street children and children especially vulnerable to abuse and exploitation such as children of sex workers and children of dwellers. The scheme will not include children who live with families and in slum areas.
This program will serve homeless children and those who face exploitation such as children of sex workers and people living on the streets. People living in slum areas won’t qualify.
Birhan Lewyew, Addis Ababa Bureau of Labor and Social Affairs and Social Security Agency Communication Officer told Capital that the program will also work to rehabilitate the children.
“We are studying if we should give the children money, but we have some concerns. Some of our staff say that the children may use the money for cigarettes or alcohol while others counter that the children need money to buy things like personal hygiene items. So we will continue discussing the matter.”
It is estimated that there are 20,000 street children in Addis and they are often blamed for crime. They are also often exploited.
Previously, Elshaddai a local NGO attempted to rehabilitate 800 Street children in Addis Ababa but they ended up back on the street.
The Social Affairs and Social Security Agency Bureau, through the support of the World Bank, currently provides 170 birr per month to 19,000 needy people who are incapable of working due to age or disease. Soon an additional  32,000 people should qualify for this program.  However this amount is often too small to meet people’s basic needs. The World Bank is studying this program.
“As a social office we have the responsibility to help street children. We want to help them live a fulfilling life and if possible join their family or obtain education or jobs” the PR added.

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