Evelene Taadira Herald Reporter
Streets Ahead, a local non-governmental organisation dealing with the rehabilitating of children living on the streets, has closed.
In a newspaper advertisement inserted by board members, Streets Ahead said they had already approached Government to cancel their registration.
“The public is hereby notified that the organisation Streets Ahead has ceased to function and has requested the Department of Social Services to cancel its registration,” the advert read.
“The closure is a result of financial problems. We had been struggling for a long time because our sponsors from overseas have withdrawn funding. The donors’ withdrawal has meant the suspension of our activities indefinitely.
“The organisation’s closure will certainly draw back efforts to rehabilitate and assist children living on the streets,” he said.
Since 1991, the organisation’s objectives included providing food, clothing, care, education and usable skills to street children and where possible and integrating them back into their families and/or formal education system.
Labour and Social Services permanent secretary Mr Lance Museka confirmed the request by the organisation to have its registration cancelled. “They came, by their own admission, that they were failing to fulfil what we agreed on when they were given the licence. They were supposed to always submit annual and financial reports to Government but they had not been doing that for some time,” he said.
Mr Museka said there had also been reports of internal squabbles in the organisation.
The organisation provided counselling services, disease and drug awareness programmes and helped establish a community-based informal schools, one of which was in Dzivaresekwa in Harare. In Mbare, the organisation provided children with instruction in drama, arts and crafts, while it provided skills training to a group of children in the central business district.
Board chairperson Sister Igna Powell refused to comment. The organisation was also supporting some children with their education in boarding schools.