From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Women group, Federal Government Girls College Owerri Old Girls Association, Calabar chapter, has called for establishment of mobile schools to cater for the rising number of street children.
Speaking during a lunch with the Children, to mark the annual acticity by the Old Girls Association as well as commemorate this year’s “International Day of Street Children” held at Mary Slessor Avenue, Calabar at weekend, the president of the Association, Dr. Queeneth Kalu, who spoke through her Vice, Mary Davies, Called on the government to come to the aid of these children.
Queeneth also called on government to investigate the rumour that these children are brought from outside the state and if true end the practice.
She said: “The large number of street children in Calabar is worrisome. It is the right of every child to have shelter, food, clothing and education through good parenting.
“We wish to draw the attention of the state government to the need for the engagement of social workers and welfare officers to assist in this regard.
“The rumour that these street children are sometimes brought to Calabar from other states should be investigated and if true, a machinery put in place to stop it. The government should provide mobile schools and also extend the federal government school feeding programme to them,” she stated.
According to him, the association is interested in street children because among them lie great talents and professionals who will excel if given the right environment.
She also disclosed that their partnership with a coalition of NGOs under the leadership of Dr. Bernadine Ekpenyong helped re-unite the street kids with their families last year and they hope to surpass that feat this year.
Also speaking, the Secretary General of the Association, Dr. Eno Uwah, said their endeavors has helped in reintegrating some of these children back to their families.
She said the association will also empower some kids who want to venture into trade or engage in any skilled enterprise.
In addition, dhe said the association has mentored hundreds of young ones across the state and hope to do more in this regard, saying “if we don’t mentor them particularly when they are young, we will not have a better society.”
She encouraged other alumni to identify with the association because the blessings that comes to them through the things they do cannot be quantified.
As part of the engagement with the children, clothes and slippers were also donated to the children which comprised street kids from Bogobiri, Marian, LEMNA, among others.