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Gov’t stops Kapoeta street children’s registration over ‘own gains’ claim

Gov’t stops Kapoeta street children’s registration over ‘own gains’ claim
Women and children at a section of Kapoeta town market in October 2022 | Credit | Clide Shihemi

The Governor of Eastern Equatoria State, Louis Lobong Lojore, has banned organizations from registering street children without an authorization from the government in Kapoeta.

This comes amidst allegations suggesting that some organization are registering children for their own gains.

Officials say there are approximately 500 homeless children in the town. They say poverty and lack of parental care are some of the reasons children are on the streets in Kapoeta, to fend for themselves.

Namwang Stephen, deputy press secretary at the office of the governor, identified Revelation Gate for Peace organization as one of the groups registering every child, including those parents are taking care of in Kapoeta.

“Governor Luis Lobong Lojore decided to stop any organization claiming to take care of street children under their responsibility, only to take them back to their parents,” Stephen told Singaita FM.

Officials believe that the vulnerable children are used to woo financial support from donors – funding that does not reach the intended recipients.

In response to the order, the managing director for Revelation Gate for Peace says they are aware of the issue and appelaed to the government to allow the organization to continue to support the most vulnerable children.

“We have the desire of supporting those that have been totally abandoned or neglected or orphans,” Kleupus Lolimo stated.

For her part, the Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare – Jennifer Nabongorika – asked parents to be responsible enough to take good care of their children to prevent them from begging on the streets.

Nabongorika  said: “My message to the community is, take care of the children because you cannot just leave the children to loiter; these children are the leaders of tomorrow.”