The children were rehabilitated by the Child Protection Network, CPN.
Rehabilitated street urchins in Ogun State on Monday added colour to the annual Children’s Day Celebration in Abeokuta with their active participation in the ceremony.
The street urchins, mostly runaways who once lived on the street and took part in criminal activities to survive, were rehabilitated by the Child Protection Network, CPN.
At the ceremony held at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, the rehabilitated boys, dressed uniformly in adire and held up a banner with the inscription “Street Boys…we have (a) future.”
They participated in the march past, accompanied by some officials of the CPN, led by the State Coordinator, Peju Osoba. The boys drew the special attention of all those present at the ceremony especially the state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who stated that he was impressed by how the boys’ lives have been turned around through the help of the network.
Some of the rehabilitated boys interviewed by journalists narrated how they came to become street urchins. Expectedly the tales were sad and involved various forms of abuse and abandonment. They, however, expressed their appreciation to CPN for the network’s efforts in trying to make life more meaningful to them and for the affection shown to them.
Mrs. Osoba, on her part, said the aim and objectives of the network is to ensure that the street children are rehabilitated and become positively relevant to the society.
“We want to ensure that we take them out from the streets and see that their lives are positively transformed so that they would be relevant in the society,” she said.
She added that after removing them from the streets, the network works towards reconciling them with their families, adding that some have been returned to school where they are currently doing well.
Mrs. Osoba, however, noted that one of the network’s challenges is providing transit camps where the children can be rehabilitated pending when they are reconciled with their families. She appealed to the state government to partner with the network towards the provision of transit camps.