Accra's bustling beggar community of refugee kids

At shopping areas, roundabouts and traffic lights, displaced immigrants are seen chasing motorists and following people to ask for money

In 2015, there were 25,000 (twenty-five thousand) refugees in the country, that is according to the Ghana Refugee Board. Only around a quarter of them is living in refugee camps.

Most refugees in Ghana come from Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Liberia, Sudan, and CAR.

In the struggle to make a living, some of them engage in menial jobs, that is if they are lucky. But others find no way to survive other than begging for money on the street.

On the streets, desperate families are being forced to send their children to beg.

Some of these young beggars, with the tacit endorsement of their parents, can be found on some of the city’s major roads, including the ceremonial routes, streets, under bridges, under trees, and in traffic, desperately trying to put food on their families’ tables.

On shopping streets, roundabouts and traffic lights in Accra and other cities, child beggars are seen, pressing their small faces against car windows, stretching their hands out for money.

Hassan, an 11- year-old girl from Niger is one of the many immigrants who fled her country due to unstable peace.

She begs around one of the busiest bus stops in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. Hassan says she is unable to find work because she is young and has no skills.

"I wish I could make enough money from begging to get a business running", she said.

Many of the young immigrants in the cities are out of school and Hassan is no different. She tells Business Insider SSA that she wishes she could also be in the classroom with people her age, however, she has to beg to support her family.

“I wish I could go to school, But now I can’t, I am the eldest and I must support my mother and my younger brother Hamza”.

Depending on my luck in a day, I am able to make between 3 and 5 dollars," she added.

She also tells Business Insider SSA that she sometimes has to suffer insults from strangers she begs from.


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