Street Girls Aid (S.AID), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has held its 25th anniversary fund raising banquet in Accra and called on the corporate bodies to support its work of creating opportunities that empower street girls.
The NGO has in particular, appealed for support to complete a structure to house and train more street girls in vocational skills, parenting skills, hygiene, basic reading and writing skills, so they could earn livelihoods, be out of the streets and become more meaningful citizens. Over its 25 years of existence in Ghana, S.AID had work with more than 15,000 children and young mothers providing them with various training programmes to empower them. Mrs Vida Asamani Amoako, Executive Director of S.AID, who made the appeal at the banquet held as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, said the completion of the structure would help accommodate more of the street girls, who otherwise might not be supported due to lack of accommodation. Currently, Street Girls Aid trains girls in various vocational skills including hairdressing, dressmaking, beads making, bakery, and décor. Mrs Amoako said many street children had left home due to reasons such as poverty, abuse, and parental neglect to the major cities of the country where they hoped to find better life.
Living on the street, she said, was “a daily fight for survival from where to sleep, keep belongings, shower, and what to eat or how to relax after a day’s work” among others. It was for this reason that S.AID, through its programmes, aimed to support children on the streets to achieve their potential and contribute to the growth of the society, she said.
She said the NGO had worked with more than 15,000 children and young mothers in various programmes to empower them. Mrs Amoako, said the issue of children living on the street was a growing national issue, from about 7,000 in 1994 to 42,000 in 2012, adding that, recent estimates puts the number close to over 60,000, made up of 57 per cent females and 43 males.
Mr Seth Appiagyei, the Street Coordinator of the Department of Social Welfare, commended Street Girls Aid for securing the welfare of the needy and vulnerable. He said the Department would always be available to partner organisations that prioritised the welfare of young ones. “Keep up with the hard work to support and give hope to the hopeless in the society,” he advised the NGO. Mr Emmanuel Bentil-Owusu, a former Chairman of the Ghana Refugees Board, said street girls included refugees who had no means to survive.
He, therefore, commended the NGO for its support and appealed to benevolent individuals and corporate institutions to support it either in cash or kind to realize its dreams of promoting the welfare of humanity.