By Constance Pindikani
Lilongwe, May 27, Mana: Chisomo Children’s Club is working hand in hand with government in disintegrating street kids due to the Covid-19, to their various home-grown communities once identified.
The Clubs Executive Director, Richard Mdyetseni acknowledged good health as one of the many rights of a child, in that regard, the club was working on decongesting their centres as one way of preventing the global pandemic.
“As a club, we are working with the Police, Social Welfare Office and other stakeholders to refer those children that have been identified, to help us re-integrate them back into their various native communities,” he said.
The Director pointed out that,“The right to good health is one of the major rights of the child, and we need to make sure that we protect these children from the pandemic.
“For us to be successful the club is lacking a lot of resources, we depend primarily on International donors but it is facing a lot of gaps because these donors have also been overwhelmed by the Corona virus pandemic back in their independent countries,” Mdyetseni said.
He said that the club has asked government to intervene on providing some needs like, beds, food, protective medical kits, clothes and fuel besides food that the government has promised to donate to facilitate the whole process of helping the street kids.
We have submitted our budget to the government, so that we get helped from the funds it has put aside for the Covid-19, and we are heavily banking on that,” the Director added.
The Director of social Welfare in the Ministry of Population and Social Welfare, Dinnah Gumulira said that apart from helping the club, the government was helping to re-integrate the kids that are in their rehabilitation centres into their various communities.
“Most of these families have difficulties in sourcing income, we are therefore partnering with various stake holders in assessing which children need support upon re-integration.
“As we are introducing urban cash transfer, one of the major targeted groups are the families with street connected children, because not all kids on the street have issues related to economic problems,”she said.
Gumulira described resistance from some kids to leave the streets as a major challenge currently facing which can expose them to the pandemic, adding they are not using force.
“Not all of them need to be put back to school but some of them need a startup capital for businesses among other things.
“They have rights, and we do not want to force them into doing what they don’t want, it delays because we are following all necessary procedures since we are dealing with human beings, but our aim is to make sure that they are safe from the Covid-19,”she added.