Editor's Comment

Illicit sex among street kids worrying

THAT some female street kids have run away from Fountain of Hope because of lack of freedom to have sex there makes sad reading.
To begin with, most of them are too young to engage in sex with men on the streets.
There was hope that they would have protection from such vices on the streets when the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development removed them from the streets with the help of police.
Fountain of Hope was kind enough to accommodate them at its facilities in Kamwala, Lusaka.
It was encouraging that some of them at that time expressed happiness for being rescued from the notoriety of the streets.
But alas! We are back to square one where we have to keep complaining about the plight of street kids.
According to the story, some street kids at the orphanage confronted orphanage proprietor Rodgers Mwewa, saying they are used to having sex on the streets and find it difficult to indulge in the illicit act at the facility.
Mr Mwewa has reason to feel heartbroken and disappointed because it is not right for girls as young as 14 to be addicted to sex on the streets.
This is a recipe for more problems as attested by the many children who roam the streets with babies strapped on their backs.
Definitely, this is a problem which is giving birth to another problem, and if left unchecked, it will breed a new crop of criminals.
This calls for stringent measures by authorities to curb promiscuity among street kids.
This problem is not unique to Lusaka. All cities and towns in the country are grappling with the issue of street kids.
Half-baked solutions will not help in getting rid of street kids who want to have freedom to engage in illicit sex.
As stated earlier when the street kids were taken to the orphanage last month, there is need to inculcate mindset change in these children.
It takes long for street kids to abandon their old habits. This is why it is incumbent upon owners of orphanages to devise a plan in which to teach them what is good for them.
The departure of these street kids from Fountain of Hope shows that no stringent measures were put in place to ensure change in them.
Besides, the period is too short to hear that some of them have run away citing lack of freedom at the orphanage.
The threat of coronavirus is still real out there on the streets, and being defeated by the demands of the children points to lack of seriousness in these orphanages.
Although Mr Mwewa says he tried to counsel the girls between the ages of 13 and 14, he should not have given in to their demands.
“Some of the street kids have gone back to the streets because they have failed to cope with the set regulations at the orphanage. They don’t want to follow the laid down procedure here and want to do things at their own accord,” Mr Mwewa said.
There is also need to investigate how these children end up on the streets because their plight is just a tip of an iceberg.
Parents have a big role to play in the fight to get rid of children from the streets.
Streets should not be breeding grounds for young girls replete with fornication tendencies.
In essence, they are spreading sexually transmitted diseases among themselves because chances are high that some men solicit for sex with these streets kids.
Government played its part when it took a step to remove the children from the streets, but people in society should also take keen interest in ensuring that this problem is curbed once and for all.

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