The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) has voiced its support for the government’s recent decision to halt the practice of giving money to street children.
CCZ argues that such handouts have a detrimental impact on government’s ongoing initiatives to provide essential educational services, capital assistance, and skills training.
Father Emmanuel Chikoya, the Secretary General of CCZ, expressed his views on the matter, stating that providing alms to street children fosters a culture of laziness.
“The culture of simply handing out money is counterproductive to the development and growth of individuals,” said Father Chikoya.
Father Chikoya further stressed the importance of a comprehensive approach involving the government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and individuals to address the escalating number of street children throughout various communities in the country.
“While we have witnessed efforts to take people to camps and other rehabilitation facilities, they often end up returning to the streets,” Father Chikoya lamented.
He urged the government to adopt a different approach, moving away from a militaristic stance on rehabilitation.
Father Chikoya instead called for an environment where individuals can develop without intimidation or fear.
Godfrey Simukonde, a child activist, echoed Father Chikoya’s sentiments, discouraging the act of providing alms to street children.
Mr. Simukonde said such actions only serve to perpetuate their presence on the streets.
“We must resist the temptation to give these children money, as doing so only encourages their continued street life,” Mr. Simukonde asserted.
He further called for a large-scale initiative to remove children from street living, ensuring that each child has an equal opportunity to access education in reputable schools and skills training institutions.
Mr. Simukonde also suggested the implementation of a law that holds parents, relatives, and guardians accountable for the well-being of their children.
“To effectively address the issue of street kids in Zambia, we must join forces and work together,” Mr. Simukonde concluded.
The government, through the Community Development and Social Services Minister, Doreen Mwamba, issued a statement urging motorists to refrain from giving money to street children.