NGOs Host Street Kids, Call For Help As The World Mark International Day For Street Children

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By Sylvia Akpan

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As the world celebrates International Day for Street Children, Non-Governmental Organizations in Calabar, the Cross River State capital have emphasized the need for a reduced number of children on the streets.

The International Day for Street Children is a day set aside on April 12 annually to acknowledge the strength and resilience of millions of street children around the world.

And at the event organized by Basic Rights Council Initiative, at Eastern Secondary School Calabar where the day was marked with street kids thrilled to their amazement.

This year’s event was in partnership with Eastside Sports Club, Safe Child Africa, Christ’s Leaven Foundation Nigeria, Prevent Abuse of Children Today, Youth Care, Youth Serving NGO, Street Priests, African Child Foundation and CrossRiverWatch.

The NGOs under various auspices said enough is not done, and more has to be done to ensure kids are retired from the streets.

The Program Coordinator of Basic Rights Council Initiatives, Ese Ibor said her organization has been celebrating the annual event for the past 11 years and this year’s celebration is to celebrate frontline workers who provide support and services to children.

“We decided to bring the children and make them play a friendly football match and other fun activities together to mark the day,” she said.

The Coordinator of the African Child Foundation, Williams Arikpo, noted that the aim to stage the event is to talk the children out of the streets no matter what might have taken them into the streets.

Also lending her voice, Pamela Braide enjoins the Government at all levels to do more.

She said parents who derive joy in sending their kids into the streets will soon be caught up with the law. 

According to her, “We cannot continue to ignore these things as you can see the number of volunteers that have put these together are all concerned; we can work together and end this menace. We cannot just continue to have this endless cycle of people who feel it is okay for their kids as young as three years old to be seen roaming the streets. It is not okay. So, I would like to appeal to the Government to take this as something very serious.”

The activity drew children from Lemna, Bogobiri, Marian, and other locations in the Calabar metropolis.

The fun-filled day saw the children display their prowess in a football match, egg and spoon race, dance, and relay race among others.

It also featured health care services, mental care, counseling, prizes, and food distributions.

See pictures:

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