Ribat wants to see street children receive education

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By PETER ESILA
STREET children need to be fed and cared for and receive education, says Cardinal Sir John Ribat.
The head of the Catholic Church in Port Moresby yesterday attended a 43rd Independence Day celebration with 48 children under the care of the church’s Street Children Ministry in Port Moresby.
The ministry teaches the children numeracy and literacy with the aim to integrate them into mainstream schools.
“I see the street children in two ways: the real hunger that they need so that they are satisfied, and another hunger that is literacy,” Cardinal Ribat said.
“They need to be educated, they need to be cared for, and they need to be helped. They have the feeling to come to school but at times the issue is that they do not have a home.”
Sister Tresa Jose, who is in charge of the ministry, said they regularly visited the children in school. But the follow-up is always a challenge.
“Some of them never went to school. Some have been to school but (cannot continue) because of no pocket money, bus fare or lunch money. So they are just roaming the streets.”
The ministry began in 2010 and assists an average of 40 students every year. Around 15 find places in mainstream schools.
“The challenge is how we can help them to remain in school. We need the support of parents, guardians and society,” she said.

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