The child labour/begging is one of the biggest problems we are facing nowadays in our country and in the whole continent. Every day we see many children who are begging alongside the roads and streets of our cities. These child beggars are two types:
• Professional beggars
• Needy beggars
Professional beggars are the children that their parents, grandparents and elder siblings force to beg people for income generation and food. They often start begging from their early childhood. These beggar children miss all education opportunities and do not even know what schools are. The only thing they learn about life is begging and they grow up as professional beggars. In most cases, they spent their entire life begging people.
The question is, how can we save them from this tragic behavior. I think it can only be stopped through legal actions against their parents which includes ensuring that all parents enroll their children schools, as basic education is a child right and that all primary schools in our country are now free.
Needy beggars are disadvantaged children from very poor families. Their parents don’t necessarily want their children to be beggars but this is the only way they can survive as they have no other choice. In this case, the solution would be supporting parents through provision of food, education opportunities, education supplies, health care and shelter. In the long run, income generation activities could also be created for the parents to ensure that they do not let their children beg at the streets. This can be done by local people, NGOs or government. Unfortunately, this kind of support is rarely seen in our country and that’s is why many children miss their basic education and grow as beggars.
I believe that education is the only solution for child beggars.
By Mohamed Farah Shabele