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Regional News of Thursday, 12 December 2013

Source: Graphic Online

Don’t beg with kids

Most cultures in the country believe having multiple births is a blessing and treat such children with special care.

Some go to the extent of performing rites for twins to show how special they are.

For some mothers in the Northern part of the country having twins or triplets’ means untoward hardship and poverty because there are more mouths to feed.

As a result, most of the women resort to begging for alms with their children in order to be able to cater for them, a practice the Executive Director of the Muslim Family Counseling Services, Chief Alhaji Baba Issa, has condemned.

Alhaji Issa said in an interview that such claims of mothers with twin children alleging that it was custom to beg for one year were false.

He said there was no such instruction either religiously or culturally for mothers with twin children in some communities of the Northern Region to beg for alms.

“Such mothers are only taking undue advantage of their children to make money”, he added.

He attributed the practice to poverty because the women who engaged in begging were mostly people who didn’t want to work but take advantage of those who were compassionate towards mothers with twins to give them money.

“Besides, if it were a custom why did the women still continue to beg even after the supposed one year period had elapsed, he asked.

He, therefore, appealed to the law enforcement agencies and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to stop such women from using their twin children to beg for alms as it was against the rights of the twins because most of them were of school-age and should be in school rather than on the streets.

Madam Aishetu, a native of Yendi who sits at the Abossey Okai Central Mosque with her twin children, told the Junior Graphic in an interview that when she had her twins, she was advised to relocate to Accra where people had compassion on women with twins.

She said on a good day, she got between GH¢30 to GH¢50 and that depended on where she sat. Her other location, Aishetu said, was on the Kaneshie foot bridge where a good Samaritan once gave her GH¢100 because of her children.

Aishetu said once she was able to make enough money, she would go back to her village to continue farming.

Another single parent, Asana, who has triplets, said she was a food vendor at Yendi but when she had her children, life became difficult, so she decided to travel to Accra where she could beg for alms.

She also said it was not the custom in her village for women with twins to beg but most poor women with twins begged for alms because taking care of the children was difficult.

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