Saudi Arabia, Egypt sign cooperation protocol to rehabilitate street children
Prince Walid bin Talal bin Abdel-Aziz Al Saud - Photo courtesy of his official account on twitter
By AYA IBRAHIM

CAIRO: Prince Talal Bin Abdel Aziz, President of the Arab Council for Childhood and Development, signed a cooperation protocol Thursday with the Egyptian Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly in order to help implement an integrated plan to rehabilitate street children.

The signing was attended by the Assistant to the Minister of Justice for the Human Rights Sector Judge Ahmed el-Sergany, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Justice Ashraf Hegazy, Talaat Abdel-Awi, the President of the General Union for Civil Society Organizations, the President of the General Union for Civil Society Organizations Talaat Abdel-Awy and others, according to a press statement.

Abdel Aziz thanked the Egyptian Government for their cooperation, wishing all the best to Egypt. He also reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s support for Egypt, describing it as a “duty.”

“We helped Egypt and will continue to support it,” Abdel Aziz stressed during his speech, pointing to the importance of dealing with street children who are more vulnerable to homelessness and drug addiction.

“Through this project we are helping more than one thousand children, which is a good start,” Abdel Aziz said, pointing to the importance of civil society organizations not only on environmental or economic grounds, but also on social and political grounds, describing it as the right hand of the government.

“Government should provide flexible laws that engage civil societies in the renaissance of the people,” he added.

Waly also thanked the Arab Council for Childhood and Development (ACCD) and Prince Abdel Aziz, for this “kind initiative,” which could support national efforts to improve the situation for children in Egypt.

“The Egyptian government will combat this problem in partnership with civil society,” Waly added. She also said that the project provides direct care for thousands of homeless children for a 3-year period, as well as developing training and educational curricula, which could be applied in all child welfare institutions.

“Street children are most often the victims of family breakdown and dropping out from school, we should improve this climate to be able to face any social and economic problems, such as poverty, unemployment and others. This way we can limit the number of street children,” Waly said.

The secretary-general of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood Azza El-Ashmawy said on May 7 that the NCCM has prepared a report during the past three months on child abuses, adding that “the murder of children came on top with 31.8%, then rapes with 23.2%,” Al-Mogaz newspaper reported Wednesday.

“There is an urgent need to change our perception of street children,” Secretary General of the Arab Council for Childhood and Development Hassan al-Beblawy said, calling on all media outlets to support the government’s efforts in solving the street children problem by changing the negative perception surrounding street children.

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