Residents urged to avoid giving money to street children

The Swakopmund Municipality has appealed to residents and visitors to consider making donations to registered soup kitchens, rather than giving money to street children.

According to the municipality, many people, especially children, are going through challenges and appear hungry, leading them to beg on the streets.

However, providing money to street children can worsen the issue by promoting the cycle of begging, with some parents even sending their children to beg in order to make ends meet.

The municipality’s public relations officer Linda Mupupa says the municipality understands the struggles many are going through.

“We sincerely acknowledge that for some, circumstances at home compel them to take to the streets in search of food and money. However, it’s crucial to understand that their motivations may extend beyond mere sustenance. These children face exposure to a myriad challenges beyond hunger at such a tender age, and their presence on the streets may stem from factors other than basic food insecurity.”

Mupupa notes that there are organisations dedicated to feeding members of the community who are in dire need, where contributions will reach those who need it most.

“Our health and solid waste department is in possession of a list of all soup kitchens in Swakopmund. We are in the process of populating the list of registered soup kitchens by encouraging more soup kitchens to register to offer donors the liberty to choose their own alternative. Some of those on our list are not registered, as only three soup kitchens went as far as registering.”

Mupupa says most children on the street are aware of the soup kitchens and other initiatives aimed at providing them with food.

However, the streets have introduced them to food that is different from the menu served at soup kitchens. The harsh realities of the streets have also introduced them to alternative sources of survival. They thus avoid places where they can receive meals and instead resort to begging on the streets, she says.

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