The Brains of the Street Foundation (BOS), a Non-governmental organization committed to eradicating Streetism in Ghana has been launched in Cape Coast. The Foundation has been instituted with the aim of supporting the needy, especially those on the Street by equipping them with the necessary skills to make them self-dependant.
The BOS Foundation is therefore working in collaboration with like-minded organization such as NGOs, developmental gencies, donor organizations, government institutions and religious bodies to also offer counselling services.
Speaking at the launch, Reverend Professor David Kwesi Dodoo, the Executive Director of BOS Foundation, emphasized the need to develop the talents of street children under experienced artisan instructors such as tailors, carpenters, seamstresses and masons.
He explained that, the Foundation would provide guidance and counselling for children to overcome all forms of emotional and spiritual trauma that they went through.
Prof Dodoo said, the organization would also ensure that the children were guided to identify their talents and skills to ascertain those who would news further education and those who need to learn a trade.
This is because the youth constituted the most important human resources potential that could contribute significantly to the overall development of the nation.Mr Justice Emile Short, the Executive Board Member of BOS Foundation in a speech read on his behalf, stated that a study conducted by BOS employed the livelihood approach to examine the effects of Streetism on the livelihood of children who lived and made their living on the street of Cape Coast.
The study examined the causative factors that push children on to the streets, their encounters and experiences in their attempts to cope with street life. It used both quantitative and qualitative data collected from 50 street children in eight areas in Cape Coast where the street children were predominant and adopted arrangement of survival strategies, both legal and illegal, to confront the challenges of urban street life.
Mr Short further mentioned the negative experiences children may have gone through such as abuse or neglect as their major challenge bemoaned the absence and inadequate programmes on issues related to child welfare in the country.
He said such were human right challenges that underpinned injustices in the country and pointed out that the problems street children faced could be corrected over time through working with the affected children directly and by addressing the symptoms indirectly.
He noted that there was very little seemingly being done at the local and national levels to harness the tremendous potentials of street children which could determine the strength and resilience Ghana needs in pursuing the socio-economic and political development goals of the nation.
He said it was the responsibility of parents and guardians to socially, morally, and educationally cater for their children, however, the situation prevailing in major cities in Ghana was quite different.
Mr. Short described the situation in Cape Coast as 'to see children in every corner hawking, carrying luggage and engaging in trickery just to stay alive. "The number of street children in Ghana given, little evidence exists to suggest that street children actively or deliberately plan criminals activities," he said.
"Additionally most of these vulnerable children squatted on the street as a result of poverty, social unrest, economic survival due to the breakdown of family system, which served as a unit for cohesion and solidarity,” he added