Last week Footprints was asked to help mobilise 1000 street children as the Vice President of Zambia, Inonge Wina, wanted to host a lunch for them in the Civic Centre Grounds on Sat 17th Oct.
We visited all the usual places to promote the event: Cairo Road, Soweto Market, Burma Road, Intercity, Kamwala, Manda Hill traffic lights.
The government provided buses for the street kids, which took them from where they all gathered at Fountain of Hope to the Civic Centre.
The function started at 09:00 and came to an end at 16:30 with a day full of fun activities, dancing and singing by the street children and the entertainers.
The Vice President came just before lunch and gave a speech where she counselled the street children who are on the street because of family differences to attempt to reconcile with their parents or guardians and return to their homes. She passionately urged the affected children to exercise forgiveness, love, obedience and make peace with their families.
As part of the speech she also directed various ministries to implement measures aimed at addressing the increasing number of street children.
Gender Minister Nkandu Luo who was also spoke, disclosed that in 2006, 13,200 children were reported to be living on the street and now the number had increased. She said her ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Child development, Defence and Community Development is implementing measures targeted at addressing and reversing this increase. All very positive sentiments.
Our team was on ground to help the children until the function come to an end.
It was the end of a tough week for the Footprints Team, but definitely one that gave our children plenty of opportunities to reflect on their lives on the street.