Christians reach out to hold the street children of Ghana.

By June 20, 2005

Ghana (MNN)–Estimates mark the number of abandoned street children at 30-thousand living in Ghana, alone.

Most street children in Ghana are between the ages of 10 and 18, though there are many who are far younger. Most have been on the streets for several months or years.

Every Child Ministries’ Felicia Annan is a street child worker. The story she tells is not unusual.

She recently helped a one-year old toddler who’s mother abused her and then abandoned her to a stranger. “Why is she doing that to the child? She told me she doesn’t want the child. She doesn’t care, for she’s going. She left. The child has been rescued by the help of ECM’s rescue fund. She’s now happy at the home.”

Maa Abena’s (ah-BAY-nah) mother ended up on the street because she had been living with her grandmother and had no place to go after the grandmother’s death.

On the street she found herself pregnant by a shoe seller she knew only as “Kofi.” He expressed no interest in either her or the child, and denied paternity. Maa did not receive proper food and grew very thin.

Her mother began to leave Maa with another street woman, paying her about $1.09 a day to care for her and feed her. Then one day she left the child and did not return. After a week the street woman could no longer afford food for the child so Maa began to wander around the downtown area by herself.

Annan spotted the baby and began making inquiries about her. Then one day, she watched as the woman caring for Maa twice yanked the baby by the arm and threw her. The first time was at Annan and the baby landed on the ground. The second time Maa’s mother caught her.

But instead of protection, Maa found abandonment. Annan had paid a child to keep an eye on her and notify her if Maa’s mother left again. When police caught up to her she told them she didn’t ‘need’ the child. But Annan saw more than a baby. She saw potential.

In fact, baby Maa Abena is thriving now at the Haven of Hope home for former street and slave children. More than that though, Annan says it’s a ministry to all the children that they help. “We show the hope of Christ to them by telling them about God, how Christ loves them, then also, showing the mothers care that they lack.”

Every Child Ministries plans to keep expanding Haven of Hope orphanage for the next ten years (2004-2014) to enable them to welcome many more children from the streets and other desperate situtations.

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