GOVERNMENT says the problem of street kids is one of the major challenges being faced in Southern Province.
Southern Province Permanent Secretary, Darius Hakayobe, said the problems have been compounded by poverty in rural areas and peri urban areas.
Mr Hakayobe said this in a speech read on his behalf by Southern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Aaron Zulu, during the preparatory meeting for skills training held at provincial administration for the mobilisation of street children and vulnerable youths.
Mr Hakayobe said some of the households in rural and peri-urban areas were living in absolute poverty and did not have access to the basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
The Permanent Secretary said as a result of increased poverty in many households, children and youths had been forced to live and work on the street.
Mr Hakayobe said this had exposed youths to bad vices such as child prostitution, early pregnancies and marriages resulting in most of them contracting HIV/AIDS.
He said in order to curb the problem of street kids, government, through the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development and the Ministry of Defence had embarked on vulnerable street children and vulnerable youths rehabilitation and re-integration programme.
Mr Hakayobe said the programme was aimed at equipping street children and youths with relevant skills such as carpentry and joinery for their self reliance.
He said government had also created an enabling environment for vulnerable households to access micro-finance so that they could engage in income generating activities and in the process reduce children’s vulnerability to poverty.