Lusaka district Social Welfare officer Viona Sitali has said alms giving to street kids was a drawback to government’s efforts of integrating these children into orphanages.
Ms. Sitali has since called on the general public not to give money to street kids but to instead help take them to orphanages.
She said members of the public can then help orphanages with resources to take care of children taken from streets.
She was speaking in Lusaka today on the sidelines of a stakeholders’ meeting meant to strengthen ties between government and stakeholders on how best orphans can be taken care of.
She said giving alms to street children encouraged them to continue being on the streets because they think being in orphanages reduces their chances of accessing money.
And Lusaka District Commissioner Ashell Kampengele called on non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders dealing with orphans to genuinely save children and not just enriching themselves.
Mr. Kampengele urged the stakeholders to ensure that they put the interest of orphans first.
He however acknowledged the challenges being faced by the department of social welfare and its stakeholders in helping the orphans.
He named some of the challenges as inadequate space to keep these children, inadequate resources and poor record keeping.
Mr. Kampengele said there was need for concerted efforts between government and stakeholders to ensure that various interventions were employed.
Lusaka district is one of the districts with the highest number of street children.
He expressed hope that the project will help provide the best care possible to enable the children, especially orphans and those that are vulnerable, realize their full potential and contribute to national development.
The meeting was held following the recently launched Zambia rising project, which is being implemented by Save the Children.
The projects namely Zambia Rising, Data Rising and Community Rising seek to strengthen systems, collect data and actively engage the communities in the quest to improve the quality of life for orphans and vulnerable children (OVCS).