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Government appeals for help to end street begging

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The government has admitted that it is not making progress in the fight against street begging in the cities of the country.

Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Jean Kalilani, told Parliament the ministry acknowledges children and the elderly that are still in the cities of the country, begging, despite the government putting in place a policy to contain the situation.

“The issue of street kids is a very complex one. There was a time the streets were cleaner and suddenly they became flooded [with street children] again. At this point, we need to make parents understand the significance of having their children in school not in the streets,” she said

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Her response followed a question from Member of Parliament (MP) for Kasungu South East Khumbize Chiponda, who asked the ministry measures being taken to address the issue.

The government implemented the policy which, among other s , allows the Malawi Police Services (MPS) to arrest anyone found giving alms to street children and the elderly as well as those on the receiving end.

Kalilani further urged the lawmakers to come forward with new ideas that can help the ministry to win the battle against street begging.

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“You don’t leave it to one ministry, but let us all think very hard and you tell us how you think we can better deal with this problem. We want to know what else we should do, to remove these [street] kids and the elderly,” she said

She said those that are being generous to the said parties should find better ways and places to offer their help, either through projects or donations to the basket of the elderly and the vulnerable or the social cash transfer programme.

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