AFRICA/GHANA - Giving back childhood to street children and offering them a better future

Monday, 14 November 2022

Accra (Agenzia Fides) - Reception and rehabilitation services, education, are some of the interventions that the Salesian missionaries have launched in favor of street children in the areas where they are involved. 'Recovering' from a strenuous lifestyle and equipping young people with the means 'for a better future' are among the objectives pursued at the St. Dominic Savio Youth Center, located in Tema Newtown in Ghana, archdiocese of Accra.
The center, launched in 2003, "provides a place where children can seek shelter, live comfortably and access education in nearby schools," said the Salesians in the area. Young people "receive a series of support that help them recover from street life and prepare for a better future".
The center offers scholarships for mainstream education to those who cannot afford to pay tuition and for teaching materials. This helps both the most destitute children, deprived of family support, and those from poor families.
"As part of the rehabilitation process, the staff members of the San Domenico Savio Youth Center accompany the young people twice a year on excursions, organize meetings between the Salesian staff and the guardians of the young people as well as monitor visits to families, in order to ensure that the rehabilitation process bears its fruits. The aim is to encourage mentors in the reintegration process and to support young people in their academic activities".
"Supporting street children and restoring their childhood", is what Fr. Gus Baek, Director of the Salesian Missions says, clearly highlighting the commitment in this regard of the Salesian missionaries in Ghana and throughout the world.
"In our centers, concludes the Salesian, the children are provided with all the primary support that is useful to start the rehabilitation process and schools and professional training".
More than 90,000 street children live in Accra and the surrounding area. Half of them are girls. They left their families in search of money and work. Boys work as freight haulers, garbage collectors, shoe and car cleaners, girls often sell water, food, and sometimes their bodies. Ghana is also infamous in past centuries for human trafficking, with much of the population reduced to slavery. Unfortunately, this human trafficking still exists. Other major plagues of this country are the forced labor of children and drug trafficking.
(AP) (Agenzia Fides, 14/11/2022)