July 15, 2006
By ANDnetwork .com
The problem of street children requires economic solutions, Restoration Ministries Reverend Cyril Phiri has observed.
Reverend Phiri who runs a number of christian orphanages in Lusaka, said although the problem of street children seemed partially solved with government’s introduction of Zambia National Service (ZNS) camps, it still remains a time bomb.
“The street kids problem is an economic problem. We need more people in employment and general improvement of people’s lives if we are to remove these children from the streets and prevent more from appearing there the following day,” he said.
Phiri said creating homes for street children was not a solution to the problem.
“Making a few transitory homes for them and putting them in camps won’t solve anything and this is where our politicians come in because as much as this problem is economic it is also connected to governance,” Phiri said.
He said with correct governance systems, the problem of street children would be adequately tackled.
“Correct governance is all about empowering people, getting the nation and the population to a better position for them to survive,” Phiri said. “To those aspiring for political leadership they must have a plan on what they will do about this problem.
The country does not need aspirants who are plan-less on issues of street kids. Just because it’s silent doesn’t mean it’s gone but that it has continued to be a bomb in the background waiting to explode while everyone ignores it.”
Phiri said having a high population of children on the streets was equivalent to having more children involved in war.
“What we have is not very different from what is happening in Siberia. In both cases the children have been exposed to unconducive environments and vices such as stealing and mutilating others.
This not only requires psychological input but a lot of political will, economic solutions and the correct governance,” said Phiri.
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