Rawlings Foundation to be inaugurated soon
Former President Jerry John Rawlings has said he will soon inaugurate a Foundation to tackle some problems in the Ghanaian society, particularly environmental issues.
Speaking at Tadzewu in the Volta Region, to mark the mini-Hogbetsotso festival of the people of Anlo, Mr Rawlings said local and indeed national authorities have watched on as people “thoughtlessly dump non-degradable waste like plastics, metals, chemicals and other poisonous material.”
“Our responsibility and discipline as a people can be very well judged by the way we handle our environment. The protection of the environment is the quickest way for a government or local authority to demonstrate its sense of discipline. By contrast, the degradation of the environment is the quickest way to degrade our human self-worth, and a government or local authority that would butcher trees or watch the degrading of its environment, cannot expect people to behave responsibly in other facets of their life, or respect their government.
“… There was an era when we had no formal education but enjoyed strict discipline as far as the protection of our environment was concerned. Today with the advent of formal education and the understanding of the effects of poor hygiene and environmental degradation, we are rather steeped in poor hygienic habits and witnessing a serious decline in our social and environmental sense of responsibility. This is a gross indictment on us as a people.
“In response to some of these challenges that our nation faces I am working with a team of like-minded people to set up the Rawlings Foundation. The thematic areas of the Foundation include but are not limited to environmental sustainability, provision of humanitarian relief, quality education for the under-privileged and brilliant students, civic responsibility and social justice. My office is inundated on a daily basis with a lot of pressing personal and communal needs from people from all walks of life. It is impossible to turn your back at some of these requests due to their pathetic nature. The office continues to pay school fees for hundreds of needy students from the meagre resources we mobilize. The Foundation will therefore be a welcome relief to many more individuals, families and communities with similar needs.
“One of the key projects the Foundation will be embarking on as soon as it is resourced is to help salvage the Volta Lake. There is the need to educate people living along the Lake to let them understand the negative impact of some of their practices and its far-reaching effect on the survival of our children. All who are willing and able should therefore support this just course to redeem our humanity.
“Ghana needs us. We cannot continue to be spectators of the decline of our very social and cultural fabric. We should take full responsibility as a people for the state of our country,” Mr Rawlings said.