Lack of Resources affecting reintegration of street connected children

By Alinafe Nyasulu

Step Kids Awareness- STEKA has bemoaned lack of resources to support street connected children who have been reintegrated to their homes as a major factor affecting the reintegration program.

This was highlighted when YFM made an inquiry on how the country is fairing on the reintegration initiative since government gave a directive to reintegrate all street connected children and those living in orphanages.

Executive Director for STEKA, God knows Maseko, said the progress is being implemented at a snail’s pace.

Maseko said there are no available funds to support the children once they have been sent back home a development which lures them to go back into the streets.

Maseko said: “Most children are found on the streets due to various reasons including poverty, so when they are repatriated to their homes, and the poverty is still engulfing their families, they end up going back on the streets.”

But the director of social welfare in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Enoch Bonongwe, said the ministry is putting up measures to ensure that children do not return to the streets once they have been reintegrated.

Bonongwe said among other interventions include provision of food, shelter and economic support depending on a thorough assessment of the needs of a particular child.

“We are developing a package of interventions that may settle the children once they get home, for instance, addressing their immediate needs like food, shelter and clothing,” said Bonongwe.

He further said the ministry intends to address the facilitating structures like parenting circles and impart positive parenting skills in the guardians and the communities will also be trained and civic educated on the ills of sending children to the streets.

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