13.04.2005 Regional News

Twenty-four street children complete skills training

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Fijai (W/R), April 13, GNA - Mrs Akosua Frema-Opare, Deputy Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, on Tuesday said the street children component of the Community Based Poverty Reduction Programme would end in December this year.

She was speaking at the graduation of a second batch of 24 trainees under the street children project at the Centre For National Culture (CNC) at Fijai, near Takoradi.

The trainees underwent two months training in kente weaving, carpentry, bamboo crafts and ceramics.

Mrs Frema-Opare said the project targeted to provide employable skills to some 3000 street children at a cost of 2.3 million dollars. She said so far, 1085 females and 651 male street children have been equipped with employable skills.

Mrs Frema-Opare said additional 135 males and 164 females had been enrolled in formal schooling, while another 417 children had been re-integrated into their families and communities. She said selected 202 parents and guardians of these children had been provided with support through the small enterprises development training.

Mrs Frema-Opare said this was to improve their income to enable them give skill training or formal education to their wards when the programmes ends.

Madam Sophia Horner-Sam, Deputy Western Regional Minister, called for measures to curb the rising tide of streetism in the country. She said some traffic lights in the Shama-Ahanta East Metropolis had been taken over by street children, who sold all sorts of wares. Madam Horner-Sam noted with sadness that the causes of this phenomena included parental irresponsibility and broken homes.

She said it is because of the impact of streetism on the society that the government had taken the bold step of training the children to make them useful citizens.

Madam Horner-Sam urged the trainees to take good care of their tools of trade that was presented to them at the ceremony. She also called on the Shama-Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly to support the training of street children in the area.

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