Increased numbers of street children worry residents

Wednesday September 19 2018

Muhanga

Residents in Muhanga have raised concern over the increasing number of street children. PHOTO | Cyril Ndegeya 

By ARAFAT MUGABO
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Residents in muhanga have raised concern over the increasing number of street children.

In 2016, the government raised about Rwf200 million for setting up a national rehabilitation centre — an independent institution to co-ordinate rehabilitation of street children and juvenile delinquency.

According to the residents, the government intervention is not sufficient to permanently address the menace of street children.

Residents are now appealing to the government for fresh interventions to improve social welfare of the street children.

According to a survey done by Rwanda Today in Muhanga, there are still many children who beg on the streets.

“Most of the street children who are on streets today are those abandoned by their parents, and ones influenced by their peer, but the issue of poverty is the leading factor,” said Beatrice Uwamariya, Mayor of Muhanga.

“Parents should always approach the nearby leaders to express their concerns instead of letting their children to go on streets,” Ms Uwamariya said, adding that irresponsible parenting and dysfunctional families are some of the causes for increase in numbers of street children.

“We have systems working and parents are failing to bring up their children responsibly, if they could do this, we won’t have street children anymore not only in Muhanga but also in the entire parts of the country,” Ms Uwamariya said.

Eleven-year-old boy, Northern Province, said every day after school the mother tells him to go on street to beg so that she can get money for food and other basics.

“It’s the only way my mother can get money,” he said “I’m mentally handicapped and can’t do any work to earn money and my husband died 10 years ago. So it’s only my son, who provides everything.