Lilongwe District Social Welfare Office in conjunction with YouthNet and Counselling (Yoneco) plans to evacuate street children and those from Lilongwe Social Rehabilitation Centre amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on Tuesday, district social welfare officer Jean Nthengwe said children were not observing Covid-19 precautionary measures.
She said they visited the homes of two street children to appreciate why they beg.
“We discovered that they come from ultra-poor families that struggle to get basic necessities,” she said.
However, Nthengwe said they convinced the families to be repatriated back to their home districts in Dedza and Chiradzulu from the city, respectively.
“We have engaged different stakeholders for the exercise. We also want to support them with starter pack to start their own businesses,” she said.
On his part, Yoneco Lilongwe programmes support manager Hughes Munthali said they found out that some street children came from broken families.
“For instance, 11-year-old child whose family moved from Dedza to Lilongwe, started begging in 2016 due to hardships at home,” he said.
He said they will support the families once they get back to their districts.
“The initiative will protect the families from Covid-19, but also help detach them from street life and possibly get them back to school,” said Munthali.
He said they are hopeful that the initiative will transform the children’s lives and give them a promising future.