THE Church must take responsibility and look after the high number of street children surviving the cold and hunger on the streets, says Pro-Christo Global Mission OM Zambia missionary, Austin Nyanwa.
Pastor Nyanwa said Africa has been nicknamed “home of orphans” because of the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic that has resulted in high numbers of vulnerable children who experienced both emotional and economic hardships at a tender age.
He said the Church must not leave the plight of street children to Government alone, but that they too must take a position and play a part in caring and providing for the vulnerable communities in the country.
“Africa has been nicknamed the home of orphans because of the increasing number of vulnerable children on the streets, resulting from HIV pandemic and the economic hardships that have derailed the culture of extended families.
“But as the Church, we have a role to play, to provide a home and family and most of all a future to those children on the streets,” Pastor Nyanwa said.
He said churches had huge following of families who could provide shelter and support for the homeless, and it would be unfortunate that children spent cold nights on the street without family or future plans when there were so many churches around.
Pastor Nyanwa said Pro-Christo was providing training for churches and the leaders on the integration of street children into society through the church.
“Street kids have been neglected for too long and if the Church does not rise and help it will cause a lot of harm to society and the country as a whole.
“And once the Church moves in there will be no street kids on the street but it requires God’s intervention for Zambia to fulfill its status as a Christian Nation,” he said.
He said the Church must work hard and aim at bringing solutions to the people, and providing for the homeless and vulnerable should be among the top priorities on their agenda.
He said it was the Church’s responsibility to stand and speak on behalf of the vulnerable in society but had remained quiet on the plight of street children who needed somebody to take care of them.
Pastor Nyanwa said there was need to build interdenominational bonds in fighting the problem of street children in the country, in order to be effective.
And a Scottish Missionary working with Pro-Christo in Zambia, Ann Davidson said it was a calling from God that the Church must answer to the call of taking care of street children.
Ms Davidson said she was in the country to help identify urgent needs in attending to the problem of street kids in Zambia.
“I want to learn what I can do to help the situation of street children here in Zambia. This is in response to my calling from God, which I need to find myself a position in addressing the problem of attending to the vulnerable in society, especially the street kids who have no one to look after them,” she said.