People should stop giving street kids money: Sioka

12 Apr 2017 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 12 APR (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare suspects that many of the street kids loitering at traffic intersections in Windhoek are brought in from Gobabis.
Speaking at a media conference here on Wednesday, Minister Doreen Sioka said they have had specific cases where upon investigation, it was found that the children were from Gobabis in the Omaheke Region.
I feel there is someone behind this whole thing; it is impossible for them to walk more than 200 kilometres from Gobabis,” said Sioka.
From the end of last year, there has been a visible increase in the number of street children begging for money at traffic lights, especially along busy roads such as Robert Mugabe Avenue.
She said the ministry has dealt specifically with these same children from Gobabis on several occasions, but they always return to Windhoek to beg for money.
An investigation is being conducted to determine who brings the children to the capital from Gobabis.
Sioka also asked that people stop giving the children money as that encourages them to keep begging. She said they refuse to stay with their families and at the ministry’s after school centre in the Grysblok area of the capital.
The centre helps to keep children off the streets. It offers overnight accommodation, counselling services, school integration, family reintegration and traces the families of children found living on the streets.
Sioka noted that the centre currently has 125 children found on the streets in its school integration programme.
She said the ministry makes about eight trips per day to take children to the centre or back to their families, but the same children show up on the streets again to beg for money.
The minister asked that people give them food, or nothing at all as they exacerbate the problem.
She said the fact that they ask for money instead of food is an indication that they are not hungry, but just want quick money for alcohol and drugs.
The ministry has found that these children make about N.dollars 200 per day.