By Alfred Mthandizi
In a bid to block street children to continue flooding the Malawi towns and cities, the Malawian government, through the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, has engaged the Indian Business Community who according to their religion find it normal to give money to children. They want to stop people from distributing cash to the children, but instead contribute the same monies to one fund.
Ministry of Gender Disability Children and Social Welfare in conjunction with Chisomo Children Club have jointly told Malawians of Asian origins to discontinue the current system which they said attracts young people to flood the streets.
According to a closed door meeting which took place in area 2 Moslem Sports Club, distribution of monies by Malawians of Indian origin owned shops, has been given as one key factor that’s helping to increase the begging system.
Director of administration in the Ministry, Mrs. Makhumula said that the leadership should instead channel the money to the special fund basket which represents the Asian community.
“You can channel the funds into special fund which can help deal with the problem once and for all. Currently it is difficult for the children connected to the streets to stop because you are giving them what they want. What we are saying ia that the same money you are spending can help generate activities for the families of these same children,” Mrs. Makhumula said it is unfortunate that the numbers of these children are increasing, hence the need for increased effort in partnership.
Chisomo Children Club Executive Director Charles Gwengwe gave a brief presentation detailing status of how giving money to street connected children is increasing begging.
Gwengwe said everyone is aware that the Lilongwe business community already has the ability to collaborate on pressing social issues. “Chisomo is keen on helpping you to reflect on what could be possible ways forward to make a lasting and sustainable impact for the good of society and the improvement of the local Lilongwe business environment,” said Gwengwe.
Members of Indian Business Community pledged to adhere to new methods of assisting the poor and vulnerable. “We are ready to comply but there should be massive civic education on the issue.” said one member only identified as Sattar. The members said they will report the issue to their fellow members.
Studies which Chisomo did recently indicated that Lilongwe is the home to 2,389 street connected children while Blantyre harbors 1,776 Children connected with the streets.