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Government accused of shunning street families

08 October 2014, 11:56 Oduor Omondi

Migori - A  Migori based Non Governmental Organization has criticized school managements in the area and the local Children’s Department for not supporting its commitment to rehabilitate street families.

Destitute Network is particularly blaming Primary Schools heads of not offering goodwill to help address the huge number of street families emerging in Migori town and other markets within Migori County.

Migori town has of late experienced an upsurge of street children and beggars, majority of whom have been reported to be from neighbouring country of Tanzania.

Through its Coordinator, Thomas Juma, the organization says it has so far rehabilitated over 20 street children although under intense challenges which can only be addressed through close working relation by all stakeholders and especially Primary Headteachers.

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Speaking to the press in Migori, Juma told of an incident where one of the rehabilitated boys was expelled from Muslim Primary School without any good reason.

“The school management’s irrational action has badly compromised our efforts to take street children back to class,” he said.

Juma said the particular boy ran away from the rehabilitation center due to frustration from the school and was later arrested in connection with theft in the town.

He said the boy who is 12-years-old was found guilty and is now serving a 3-year jail imprisonment at Migori GK Prison as a result of careless handling by the school management.

The tough school rules slapped on such children, he added, scared them away from class and urged heads to find soft ways of attracting them back to school.

The organization is also blaming Migori County children office for laxity in handling the affairs of the rehabilitated street children.

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Juma said they have tried to engage the County children office bosses over the issues but their concern has not been addressed.

He said the number of rehabilitated street children is increasing with the recent number shooting to 20 from the initial number of 16.

The official said that the organization is in crisis since they are not able to fully cater for the welfare of these children.

They are now appealing to the County government and other donors to help them save the situation.

The group which has a total of 10 members was started three years ago and has been working on tree planting projects before coming up with the street children rehabilitation project.

They depend on tree planting project to raise funds to cater for the needs of the street children.

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