200 Beggars Fed As Govt, NGO Partner To Send Indigent Children To School In Anambra 1

200 Beggars Fed As Govt, NGO Partner To Send Indigent Children To School In Anambra

Irked by the nuisance being caused by indigent children in Anambra
state, the state Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, in partnership with a Non Governmental Organization, NGO, Petty Hawkers Welfare and Empowerment  Initiative of Nigeria, (PHEN) took to the major roads of Onitsha and Awka, last Tuesday on sensitisation on the existence of
PHEN, vowing to take the indigent children back to school even as
cooked rice was shared to over 200 beggars.

Addressing the members of PHEN, led by its National President, Comrade Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, at the Ministry’s headquarters at the Prof. Dora Akunyili centre, Awka, state capital, prior to the Awka road-walk, the Commissioner, Lady Ndidi Mezue, recalled that her first assignment when she took over as
commissioner in the Ministry, was picking those children and sending
them to school.

Urging the PHEN not to relent in her effort to better their welfare,
she regretted that some people used them to earn a living thereby
frustrating the efforts of government to better their condition.

In her words, “what you are doing today (Tuesday) is a noble course,
you have a kind of given us energy because this is one of the things
we championed. Child hawking is becoming pandemic.

“When I came on board one of the first things we did was to go round the three zones of the state, Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi to look out for those children and on the process found out some of them not only that they were not from this state but that were sent by their sponsors to go and beg and at the end of the day give them #500 or #1000 from the money they collected daily.

“It is a very pathetic situation to see a child who is of school age
hawking groundnut, orange, satchet water, among others . When we started we used to pick them and take them back to school.”

The Commissioner who was flanked by her permanent secretary, Mr. Dan Ezeanwu, added that, “we used to pay their school fees and financial obligations through their parents/sponsors but when we found out that the money given to them was not channeled for the purpose, we pay their school fees directly by ourselves.

“The problem is that after taken them back to school and paying their school fees, they still come out to the streets. Some of them are being used for begging, some are hired and given #500 or #1000 at the end of the day.

“PHEN is supporting my Ministry in creating the awareness. My Ministry will be part of what you are doing in making our lives less easier. God will help and guard you as you fight for the good of the less privileged in our society” she prayed.

In his response, the PHEN National President, comrade Ojukwu, who is
also the secretary, Boad of Trustees, (BOT) expressed satisfaction with the cooperation of the Ministry pledging not to relent as an experiences mobile advertisement professional.

He said that, “the principal objective of the NGO is to fight child hawking and forced labour in our society. As a practitioner in mobile advertisement we have the experience to fight the problem”

“When you go to the road especially at this time of the coronavirus pandemic you see all the minors on the road causing nuisance, cleaning vehicle  windscreen glases, throwing pebbles and playing and the
implication is huge, they may lose their lives to accidents on the

“they have people sponsoring them for selfish interest and with the
assistance of the state government, NGOs, corporate bodies, Civil society organisations and good spirited individuals we can take them off the road and back to school to be good citizens of the society”

“Today (Tuesday) we are on road walk/show to create awareness on PHEN existence, we kicked off from Onitsha to Awka and will storm Nnewi after interacting with the Commissioner for Women and Social Development, Hon. Lady Ndidi Mezue, our mummy”.

“It is obvious that when these kids are in school rape, child abuse,
sexual abuse, forced labour, drug abuse, cultism, child trafficking,
prostitution, among others will be prevented” he stated.

In his own contribution, a member of the BOT, Mr Ugwu T. Onyebuchi,
expressed optimism that with the government/PHEN partnership, the
indigent children must go back to school.

He stressed the need for all hands to be on desk adding that #10
donated for the upkeep of this kids would go a long way in alleviating
their problem.

Highlight of the event was sharing of cooked rice to every indigent
person within reach as the PHEN train on road-walk gave out fliers to people.

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