The best way to understand the Daughters of Charity organization is to share in the experiences of the Sisters living and working in the developing world. United as Daughters of Charity, they dedicate their lives in service to those who are poor.
Stories, videos, biographies and more, will offer a glimpse into the world of the local people and the Sisters, and the struggles and richness of their collaborative work.
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THE STREET CHILDREN OF KUMASI, GHANA
Workers go to the streets and talk to the street children to teach them the values of the project, to encourage them to visit the Drop-in Center, and to sign them up for formal schooling – having supplied them with clothing and books and meals and paying the fees to go to school. It is a long process and not to be done in a day. The volunteers also go to the streets to teach young mothers about feeding their children properly, about healthy food, and to set up vaccination clinics.
This Street Children Project (SCP) was founded by the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi in Ghana in 2005 to address the problem of children on the streets. The program is managed by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul working with dynamic staff members and volunteers, with Sister Olivia as the current director.
The Project provides multifaceted services to children in street situations including counseling, family re-integration, financial, and other support in education and skills training. Currently SCP supports over 300 children in education and skills training. Services include workers in the streets reaching out to children on the streets; a Drop-in Centre where street children can rest, relax, play and join informal education; a Day Care Centre for the young children of street mothers and poor women working in the market; and a Vocational Training Centre where former street girls receive employable skills, literacy programs, and much more.
Also, the Daughters of Charity program works tirelessly to put an end to the sex trafficking of children who live on the streets. Recently, the director went to Rome to learn more ways and new means to put an end to it. These efforts continue as more and more youngsters are saved from the degradation of the street.
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR STREET CHILDREN
The 12th of April every year is a day set aside by the Consortium for street children as the “International Day for Street Children.” This is an occasion where children in the street situation are given a platform to express their needs. As a result, Street Children Project (SCP), Kumasi chose to mark this day with a float parade around the principal streets of Kumasi. The day began as early as 7:30 am with sharing T-shirts to hundreds of children in street situations who had gathered to participate in the float. The float was accompanied by a wonderful brass band. Present were the Vebego Foundation volunteers, representative of SamenWerk Foundation, Child Trafficking Unit, Social welfare of Kumasi and other stakeholder, honoring the occasion.
Over 500 children in street situations in Kumasi Joined the float parade, where children spoke up to the general public with the use of placards. The cards had inscriptions like: Street Children have Identity, Value Street Children, Care for Street Children, Stop Ignoring Us, and Street Children have a Right. After a long and tiring walk through the designated streets of Kumasi, the children who participated in the float parade were treated to food and drinks to help replenish their lost energy.
CREDIT: Story and photos contributed by Georgia Hedrick, Ladies of Charity