A Non-Governmental Organisation, Heart of Gold Foundation, has raised the alarm that 30 million children live on the streets in Africa.
The President of HOGF, Mrs. Onye Ogechukwu, said this on Friday in Abuja during a party organised by the foundation for school children to mark the yearly June 16 Day of the African Child.
She said the Federal Government should include skills acquisition in the curriculum for primary and secondary school education.
She said, “The (June 16) Day also draws attention to the lives of African children, which also focuses attention on the plight of the estimated 30 million street children across the continent.”
Ogechukwu noted that the ‘street children,’ “have family ties that are weak or non-existent, are forced to develop survival strategies, rely on the street as their main place of stay and for whom the street has replaced the family as a place for socialisation and face specific major risks.”
She therefore called for a new thinking in expanding the career choices of youths, particularly those unlikely to pursue education.
According to her, the HOGF was motivated to establish a skills acquisition and career club in primary schools in the Federal Capital Territory as part of initiatives of helping children in their formative years to find alternative career choices.
Ogechukwu said, “Very dear to the heart of HOGF is self reliance driven education. This is the present day reality of our country. Nigerians, including millions of our youths are graduating from school with no hope of gainful employment.
“Therefore, HOGF skills acquisition and career club seeks to harness this early period in a child’s life and give them a desired future.
“It is obvious that there are a lot of skills, which need to be developed, but which are often under rated, as unattractive career option.
“There is need to change this narrow perception that one can only make it through certain job areas. We need to change that and it is what the club is about.”