The Experiences of Muslim Child Beggars in Dagbon of Northern Ghana: an Exploratory Study from the perspective of Salutogenesis
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Begging is a phenomenon that is prevalent in different parts of the world. The involvement of children in begging is a worrying factor to organizations, agencies and governments at national and international levels because of their vulnerabilities. Children who are involved in begging encounter negative experiences nevertheless they continue to beg. This research explored the stressors of Muslim child beggars in Dagbon of Northern Ghana and the resources that enable them to cope with the adversities associated with begging using the salutogenic theory. The study used a phenomenological approach with three different sets of participants involving child beggars, parents and mallams. Draw and tell, focus group discussions and in-dept interviews were the research instruments used. The findings revealed that these children encounter a lot of stressors like encounter with dangerous animals such as monkeys and insults but there are resources like their social affinities available to them to cope with the stressors and indication that they are able to identify and utilize the resource which means they have strong Sense of Coherence.Though Islam is at the centre of children's involvement in begging, the mallams indicated that begging is an unacceptable act in the religion. This makes the position of Islam on Begging and the views of the parents divergent. However, there are exceptional circumstances under which a Muslim can beg implicating Islam in the child begging mantra. The desire of all the children in this study was for them to be in school. Therefore, government must be proactive in issues that deal with children by taking them from the begging terrain to academic environment.