A journey of reaching out to street connected children with basic education using innovative approach dubbed “SmartStreet” commenced on 13 June, 2022 with a training of street outreach workers.
The eight-day training being offered in Lilongwe is first of its kind in Malawi as it is focusing on addressing education needs of children connected to the street using innovative ways.
Participants to the training have been drawn from YONECO and other stakeholders in the child protection like police, education, social welfare among others.
In his speech marking the official opening of the training, YONECO board Chair responsible for Programmes and Projects, Samuel Bota, described the training as an opportunity to the country as it will help to provide the best possible future for the children in the streets.
The board Chair also highlighted that the “Smartstreet” will not only respond to the lamentation by the Ombudsman in the 2019 report “Abandoned on the Streets” but act as a conduit for provision of comprehensive services for the children connected to the street even in emergency situations.
On his part, Master Trainer for Mobile Schools, Bram Van De Putte said he is excited that they have partnered with YONECO and added that the project will help to bridge the gap between the children and street outreach workers.
Meanwhile, one of the participants, a Child Protection Officer working with Lilongwe Police Station Sub Inspector William Chirambo has described the training as timely and eye opener saying it will assist them enhancing their skills on handling street connected children.
YONECO will implement the project, “SmartStreet”, in the districts of Lilongwe, Ntcheu, Zomba and the commercial city of Blantyre with support from Mobile Schools.
– Shadreck Sindiza