This was disclosed on Wednesday, 12th April 2023 in Yaounde during a meeting to mark the 12th edition of the international day for street children.
As Cameroon joined the international community on April 12, 2023, to mark the 12th edition of the day for street children, the Ministry of social affairs together with the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP organized on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, in Yaounde, a briefing on the projection for the reinsertion and socioeconomic inclusion of the street youth.
During the meeting, an in-depth presentation on the reinsertion and socioeconomic inclusion project that has been launched was made by Jean Vincent de Paul Gweth, chief of the Youth Connekt project in the UNDP’s country office.
The project that targets all some regions of Cameroon is expected to empower this vulnerable group of youths and revamp activities already carried out by some street children who have quitted from the streets.
The cases of children who were taken out of the streets of Yaounde and Douala just to name these two major cities were equally underscored by Mr Nyambi III Dikosso, Director of national solidarity and social development.
He said the Ministry of social affairs through its pilot has withdrawn 162 children from the streets. 110 returned home and 40 were placed at the Betamba childhood institution in Ntui, Center region.
Mr Nyambi III also indicated that some 30 youths who are currently on vocational training at the Betamba childhood institution will end up their courses in June 2023.
Mr Alassane BA, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative once more took advantage of the meeting to praise the fruitful cooperation that exists between the government and the United Nations system in Cameroon. Cooperation which to him positively impacts the advancement of sustainable development goals.
He said through this ongoing project, UNDP stucks on the slogan of “leaving no one behind”. Street Children according to Mr BA are important in the transformative circle of our society.
“We are targeting 700 street youths by September 2023, and we shall attain our objectives by working closely together to facilitate the socioeconomic reinsertion of these youths in Yaounde, Ngaoundere, Douala…”
UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative in his speech also called on decentralized councils and actors to give a push to this project which necessitates the contribution of everyone for its success.
Minister of Social Affairs, Pauline Irene Nguene, in her keynote address, saluted the collaborative spirit that has been put in place between the Ministry of social affairs, the Ministry of youth affairs and civic education and the United Nations Development Programme through the Youth Connekt project, which is the milestone of the reinsertion and socioeconomic empowerment of street children and youths.
“Street children remain innocent young people weaned from tenderness and affection, sometimes misunderstood and stigmatized, who have found themselves on the streets for various reasons which in most cases are not of their making and are confronted with the brutality of strangers, without coat or cover, begging, committing petty theft, harassing and sometimes threatening to be able to survive.” She said.
Madame Nguene said the 12th edition of the international day for street children comes at the moment, the government has launched a series of programmes through her ministerial department to tackle the phenomenon of street children and build up their resocialization.
Social affairs patroness stated: “The resocialization, or rather the social reintegration of street children is therefore not a creation of the imagination. It is possible but this calls for a real collective challenge. This is why today’s consultation is so important. The success of the project for the reintegration and socio-economic inclusion of street youths depends on the commitment and collective dynamics that will be implemented in its execution.”
The meeting also paved the way for the projection of a short documentary portraying the daily living of street children in Yaounde. This short documentary is a production of the UNDP office in Cameroon.