News/ArticlesNewsArticles and BlogsPlanting the nation’s future on our dusty roads

Planting the nation’s future on our dusty roads

By Anthony Kojo Bosomtwe and Michael Mensah Asiedu, Project Officers at SCEF

“Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil … but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root they withered away.” Matthew 13:6, 7.

Little Oko, born to street parents has spent only two years of his ten years life in the classroom even though education is supposed to be “free”. Oko works as an errand boy on the street to get food to eat. The society; educated and uneducated, powerful and powerless, rich and poor, patronize his services.

Oko does not stand alone in this situation. Street children, the most vulnerable among all categories of children, are cut off so many services in the country right from birth. Their rights as children are stripped off their hands by the very system that is supposed to protect them.

Is it not the right of every child to get access to education? But what do we see on our streets? Children working from dawn to dusk to take care of themselves and even to some extent take care of their families. We buy from them on our streets. We cheat and scare them on our streets. We discriminate against them when they come closer to us.

Our society has intentionally planted these children on our rocky and scorchy grounds. They rot on these streets and they grow into the very adults we give several names to. But should we blame the tree for bringing forth bad fruit or should we blame the farmers and laborers for not taking good care of the tree?

These children who are single seeds on our streets are supposed to be intentionally planted on the fertile soil of education, good health care, good shelters, and good family care so that they can rot in these opportunities of services to bring forth good fruit to push Ghana and the world forward.

But the bigger question here is Street Children, whose Responsibility?

Nothing answers the above question better than the proverbial saying that ‘’It takes a village to raise a child’’.  Indeed, as a society, we all owe it a moral duty to protect little Oko and ensure that he has all the opportunities he needs to reach his fullest potential.

Over the past decade, the Street Children Empowerment Foundation(SCEF) has done its best to impact the lives of over 70,000 street-connected children like little Oko. And with their continuous commitment to transforming the lives of street-connected children by rescuing, rehabilitating and reintegrating them, SCEF is doing its part in giving hope to vulnerable children.

But neither a civil society organisation like SCEF nor government alone can bring sustainable improvements to the lives of Street-connected children. That, will require the active commitment of all members of society. We must therefore, begin to collaborate in our resolve to ensure that children are planted in schools and not on the streets.

When our collective inaction as a society breeds deviants as a result of ‘streetism’, then it is the whole society that will pay the price for it. It is therefore important to remember that, no one of us is safe until all street children are safe.