On Thursday February 5th, Professor Michael M O Seipel from the BYU Social Work Department gave an insightful lecture about the current state of street children in Ghana. His remarks were based upon a recent paper published in the International Social Work Journal titled “Survival Strategies of Street Children In Ghana: A Qualitative Study.” Professor Seipel has done extensive research on topics such as welfare-reform, poverty and health care in developing countries. He has also received several awards in education and speaking. Thank you Professor Seipel for spending your valuable time with us.
Professor Seipel was asked the question (paraphrased) “does all the work from non-profit organizations actually help to rehabilitate children, or do children start to to rely on the aid of humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF?” Professor Seipel responded by using the analogy of a fish out of water. When a fish jumps out, do we figuratively council the fish and tell it what it has done wrong, or what it needs to change? Yes, but it may die. If we throw the fish back in the bowl every time the fish jumps out, then it may never learn. Professor Seipel suggested that there needs to be a balance of both, and that is where the expertise of non-profits comes to play.