Amie Kamara is among these groups of beggars and according to her, she has been on it since she became vision impaired seven years ago. She explained her ordeal as a beggar – stating that, most times she goes home without having anything to eat with her family members. She further expressed that, sometimes they are seen as nuisance by certain people they approach for help.
Kadiatu Thullah another street beggar said, they normally get enough food and other gifts especially during festive times like the two Eids (Muslim Celebrations) and Christmas season when many people are willing to help them. She went on to say that, it is not their making to take begging as a means of survival, different forms of disabilities including vision and earring impairment, physical challenges, autism etc. have incapacitated them thereby making them completely vulnerable.
This undignified means of survival is not only practiced by adults but children as well. Adama Kargbo is a thirteen year old girl child that roves with her grandma in major streets of Makeni to fend for themselves. According to Adama, she was a pupil of WCSL Primary School in Makeni, but she stops schooling because, her grandmother is old and poor – and she could not afford to meet her school charges. She added that, if she gets somebody of goodwill to help her, she is more than ready to continue her education.
For Sierra Leone’s Human Development Index to be rated high, there is a greater need to provide dignified and sustainable means of livelihood for every Sierra Leonean especially those with vulnerability; and according to some members of the public, if major towns and cities across the country are to do away with street begging, soup kitchens are to be established in every district headquarter town by government and persons of goodwill.