All I see is hope, resilience and hearts searching for Love – Dr Betta Edu to Street Children

All I see is hope, resilience and hearts searching for Love – Dr Betta Edu to Street Children

As Cross River State Marks United Nations International Day for Street Children, Emphasis has been laid on rehabilitation through education, talents discovery and Sport.

Speaking at the event, Dr Betta Edu said we are looking for those talents to harness from the street children. Potentials that could spur them up to discover their worth to the world.

His Excellency, Senator (Prof) Ben Ayade is very passionate about you, he want to make sure that you have access to key services such as education and healthcare.

“Without some form of basic education and economic training, the future is bleak for these street children and their life expectancy terrifyingly low.

“Behaving well and leaving a lawful life will end your harassment by the police and change the general notion the societies has about you because amongst you are future President, Governor, Senators, Okocha’s, Maradona and Tuface Idibia.

Dr Edu said according to UN sources there are up to 150 million street children in the world today. Chased from home by violence, drug and alcohol abuse, the death of a parent, family breakdown, war, natural disaster or simply socio-economic collapse, many destitute children are forced to eke out a living on the streets, scavenging, begging, hawking in the slums and polluted cities of the developing world. Some of you children here just saw their friends live a lose carefree life on the street and ran away from home for no reason to join your friends.

Dr Betta Edu, DG, Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency presenting a monetary gift to one of the street children who entertains the crowd

She said the present administration will do everything possible to rehabilitate them and reunite them with their families.

Representative of the United Nation Agencies, Dr Yakubu Aliyu from UNFPA said there are those who work on the streets as their only means of getting money, those who take refuge on the streets during the day but return to some form of family at night and those who permanently live on the street without a family network. All are at risk from abuse, exploitation and vigilante or police violence, but the most vulnerable are those who actually sleep and live on the streets, hiding under bridges, in gutters, in railway stations.

While they may have small jobs such as shoes shining or markets selling to pull through, many also end up dying on the pavement, victims of drugs, gang rivalry and diseases. All these are worrisome and required serious attention and cooperation from the State and other Partners.

We are happy to be part of this exercise and promise to continue supporting this rehabilitation.

Also Speaking, Mrs Asian Archibong representing the honorable Commissioner of Women Affairs said the non-formal education is one way to address these legitimate concerns, while leaving the door open to mainstream education later on. Mayor of Calabar Municipality, Hon Donatus Etim gave a voice by saying he will do everything under his watch to make sure he links those with extraordinary talents to the people that matters. He ask them to continue behaving well as there have a brighter future ahead of them. Dr Nchewi Ani President Medical Women Association spoke for Com. For Health and supported the children

Mediatrix Development Foundation, NGO of the wife of the Governor was there to give free medical care to the street kids.

The State team was thrilled by performances ranging from freestyle rap competition dancing and dramatizing as the DG promised to facilitate their performance at this year Christmas Festival.

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