Solve the Problem of Street Children

Kulca, president of the Hope Children’s Association, spoke on Yön Radio: “The problem of children being pushed into the streets could be solved within a year.”

Bıa news centre

16-01-2008

The Umut (Hope) Children’s’ Association was founded in order to bring children and young people pushed into the streets back into society.

President of the association, Yusuf Kulca, has said that if the municipalities cooperated, the problem could be solved within a year.

Speaking on Yön Radio’s weekly slot of “My Universities”, pedagogue Kulca spoke about what needed to be done as well as the work the association carries out.

Night shelters and rehabilitation needed

The association is working on founding a rehabilitation centre in Catalca, a district of Istanbul around 50 km to the North-west of the city centre. Kulca also emphasized that as a priority shelter had to be offered to children living on the streets:

"Children and young people living on the streets need somewhere to stay at night, and this needs to be provided by the municipalities. In Istanbul, at least 10 night shelters need to be founded. Istanbul’s 32 district municipalities need to come together and collaborate on a common project. They have not done anything on this issue yet, but the problem could be solved within a year if there were a project under the coordination of the Greater Istanbul Municipality."

Migrant children supporting their families 

Kulca pointed out that big cities were receiving more and more migration:

“People think that families migrate to big cities. But really, 14 to 15-year olds live in in houses for single people and try to support their families. On average, 25 people live together in three-room flats. They do this to earn a little bit of money. Cities have to stop being centres of migration, because they breed population explosions and safety problems.”

Kulca also spoke about the prejudices which others had about street children. The children were not being helped, they were also looked down upon; this was mainly due to the negative news coverage of street children.

“We try to create an environment which protects us from these children, who we have taken out of the education system, and who then face us as problems.” (EK/GG/AG)

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