Street, Vulnerable and Less Privileged Children in Cameroon.
The problem of street children is not only faced in Cameroon, but is a global social issue faced by low and middle income countries all over the world. The reasons why children end up in the streets of Douala, Yaounde, Bamenda, Kumba, Bafoussam is the same for children the world over.
Some are orphans, others victims of broken marriage, running away from family violence. Others roam the streets in search of something to do in other to supplement family incomes.
With the already high rate of unemployment amongst youths in Cameroon, even for those who are educated, things are not that easy for these children that find a living by begging, stealing and living on the streets. Some of them even find themselves digging deep inside trash cans for food which the can’t afford.
They can’t afford basic services like health, education and most of all a place to live. Some of them get arrested for small crimes like begging and smoking illegal drugs. They end up spending months or even years in prison just for their case to be brought up just because they haven’t got any legal counsel.
These children are at a high risk in contracting AIDS and other STDs. Some of the street children are victims of child trafficking into neighboring countries like Nigeria where they end up as domestic servants. You can see then on verandas of beer parlors, bars, uncompleted houses, stadiums and even grave yards.
Most of them have as reason for being in the street poverty, dysfunctional family, authoritative parent and death of a parent. Typically, a street child in Cameroon is a boy or girl that is aged 12-17 years, a school drop out, sleeps on the street and doesn’t have money or lack support. The children are vulnerable and are exposed to illnesses, no shelter, clothing, food, risky behavior and continuous police arrest.
Their future is hanging in the air. They lack protection, especially with the absence of adult supervision. They are exposed to various types of violence, especially at night. Some are even victims of sexual predators who use them to satisfy their canal cravings.
This is why we have decided to work together with the government of Cameroon to provide help in the form of counseling, shelter, family, food, education and other things for these vulnerable children. We have specific programs that we have designed in other to involve these children into activities that will be positive to their lives and the community at large. You can see our Project Outline.