Ministry removes children from chronic street beggar
Members of the Child Care and Protective Agency yesterday conducted a campaign, which was aimed at stopping the exploitation of children.
In yesterday’s campaign a woman, who was described as a professional beggar, had three of her children taken away by the Ministry officials.
Yesterday as the officials, supported by members of the Guyana Police Force, swooped down on the unsuspecting woman, she was comfortably seated under a tree overlooking the nearby fast-food outlets on Vlissengen Road and counting the takings.
As the officials told her that they were taking the children into protective care because she was exploiting them, she immediately told the officers that she was waiting on the children’s father to take them home.
An official told the woman that they had received reports that she would send the children to beg along the Irving and Lamaha Streets area.
“I don’t send my children to beg; they only deh with me because they father ain’t come yet for them. They does go to St Gabriel’s Primary”.
An official from the Ministry told Kaieteur News that the woman has a history of exploiting her children during her begging routine, noting that several attempts were made to assist her but these attempts have all failed.
“She was at Scotia Bank. We spoke to her and even tried to give assistance, but she is what we would describe as an entrenched member of a street begging gang,” the official said.
The official further told this newspaper that woman changed her location in an effort to elude the Ministry.
“We got numerous reports about this woman and even a newspaper clipping with her during an interview talking about street life”.
The official said that many persons have written about this woman and even offered to help her, but she has insisted on exploiting her children.
The official said that there is the need to send a serious message to persons who are begging and are exploiting their children in the process.
Children must not be used for “begging”; they should be in school getting an education, which would be beneficial to them. The official said that a thorough assessment would be conducted on both children and mother.
The children would be in Child Care and Protective custody, whilst the assessment is being done.
The official stated that they have no intention of depriving the mother of her parental rights; they however need to address the most pressing matter, which is protecting the children.
The mother would also be given some sort of psychological counseling to get to the root problem of her begging habits.
The Ministry is also encouraging other such persons to come into the Ministry and seek help, instead of having their children beg on the streets.