In his power point presentation during a one week workshop organized at the Dworzak community centre for stakeholders, parents, chiefs, members of WYCF and representatives from other child protection agencies, the Mobile School Streetwise in Belgium Coordinator Partnerships for Africa and Asia, Sander Degeling admonished that people should stop discriminating children who have been addicted for abusing alcohol and drugs.
He said street children need encouragement from society to change their insight on alcoholic drinks and drugs and warned against referring them to their current circumstances, pointing out that it takes a process to change drug addicts from their habit.
Degeling also maintained that, street children are exposed to the practice of substance abuse for which he called on the public to change their perception about street children since not all of them are wayward.
He also noted that most of those arrested for unlawfully activities on the street might developed negative perception about the Police enlightening that the Mobile School is not looking at the negative characteristics of children but the positive aspect that would help change a child.
He described children on the street as having strength and focus but that they need the support of society to transform their lives and reminded that, children always come closer to people who care for them with love, peace and unity and recalled how Gullah Kingship in America removes street children from the street and provided shelter and cater for them to develop their lives under the supervision of his organization.
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ‘We Yone Child Foundation’ (WYCF) Santigie Bayoh Dumbuya said, the workshop is organized purposely for social workers to learn about children noting that the mobile school workshop will help participants to see children as people with different talents.
Admonished societies to give street children the required support they require to change their habit and exhibit their talent, expressed hopes that the interactive workshop will create positive impact for children and empower social workers to properly carry out their functions.
The We Yone Child Foundation further describe the workshop as a great success for the organization and the country noting that it was not a Childs play to draw participants from George Brook Street, Dworzak, Kroobay, Waterloo and Imat communities.
He catalogued the challenges facing WYCF as funding for over eighteen teachers and lack of mobility adding that WYCF is always in readiness and willing to change the status of children.
The Head of Schools, WYCF, Elizabeth Brewa re-echoed that the training focus on children connected to the street adding that some of them are in the street as a result domestic violence like rape. She sensitized parents and guardians to know what a child is capable of doing and explained plan to extend activities in other areas. She came to her conclusion by calling on all to bridge the gap between community people and street children.
Marion Caulker from Concern for the Deprived in Waterloo said, they are working with all sort of vulnerable children in the street and she emphasized the impact the organization has created on the lives of vulnerable children in the Waterloo community.
She reminded that, children one can only discovered the talent from a child when that child build trust and confidence in you pointing out that the organization apply life skills to encourage destitute and prostitute children improve themselves, citing as example the positive impact WYCF has created among commercial sex workers in Waterloo.
By Alhassan Bangura