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General News Wed, 30 Jun 2010

World Vision Ghana holds national awards for students

Accra, June 30, GNA - The management of World Vision Ghana, an international non governmental organisation, on Tuesday held an awards ceremony for students to commemorate African Union (AU) Day of the African Child in Accra.

The awards were presented to students who exhibited creative talents and skills through art. Dubbed; "Voices of the Children," the award was to enable them to express their views through drawing on issues pertaining to their well-being, protection and development as the future leaders. It was under the theme: "Child well-being, our Hope for Better Future". Mr Emmanuel Arthur, Senior Communications Officer of World Vision Ghana, said the award brought together 125 students from its 34 project communities who participated in an art competition depicting their perception about developmental issues and challenges affecting children and their communities.

"As part of the programme the students would go on an excursion to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Akosombo Dam," he added. Mr Arthur said the awards would recognise individuals and institutions that had assisted in projecting the plight of children in Ghana. Five students received certificates of participation and a parcel for outstanding creative skills which depicted issues affecting them and their communities.

They are Emelia Kyei, Ahmadiyya Girls Senior High School, Prince Osafo Agyemang, Asante Akim North District, Emmanuel Dugble, Ntrobuman SHS Nkwanta North District, Prince Appiah, Twifo Praso, and Bashiru Abubakari, Afram Plains.

Mrs Agnes Philips, Director for Advocacy, Communication and Marketing, World Vision Ghana, said the day was instituted when hundreds of black school children were massacred in Soweto, South Africa while protesting against the use of Afrikaans as an official language of instruction in black schools. She said about 10,000 students and school children participated in that protest, where 23 of them were killed and 700 others suffered varied degree of injuries. As a result of that, the AU in 1991, adopted June 16, every year to mark the day in recognition of the role the protesters played in abolishing apartheid and to renew commitment towards protection of children against all forms of abuse.

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Mrs Philips said the organisation believed that every child, regardless of ethnicity, race or religion was created in the image of God and had been given opportunities to develop and grow physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. She stressed that it was unfortunate to see how poverty had affected many households and led to many parents sending their children out to fend for themselves.

Mrs Philips reiterated that the Day of the African Child initiative served as one of the attempts made by World Vision Ghana to increase child participation by listening to them express their hopes and fears. She urged parents to take up the responsibility of creating a better world for their children through planning and budgeting for their welfare and ensuring that they attended school. Mrs Adelaide Kastner, Vice-Chairperson of World Vision Ghana Advisory Council, said government had put in place many laws to ensure the legal protection of children against corporal punishment, sexual abuse, child trafficking and other social vices that militated against the development of children.

She encouraged students to fall in love with their books, study hard and learn to love God and obey their parents and teachers since that was the best way to succeed in life. Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, said; "Government has shown great interest and commitment towards the welfare of the Ghanaian child in recognition that the nation's development cannot be sustained without conscious efforts to groom the children to provide the necessary human resource support base in the future". She said the Ministry was striving within serious budgetary constraints to implement the School Feeding Programme, Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) Programme, Free text books and uniforms for children aimed at meeting the needs of the Ghanaian child.

Mrs Azumah-Mensah urged parents to give their children moral training and desirable attitudes like hard work and faith in God which they needed to succeed in life, school and all their endeavours.

Source: GNA
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