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Politics Thu, 25 Sep 2008

GBC asks politicians to focus on social issues

Accra, Sept. 25, GNA- The Ghana Baptist Convention (GBC), has called on politicians to make social issues the basis of their election campaign, in order to create the public awareness needed to address them.

Mr Jervis Djokoto, Director of Baptist Relief and Development Agency (BREDA) an arm of the Convention, noted that social problems like Female Genital Mutilation and the Trokosi system are being neglected by politicians who are rather engaged in wild promises that are likely to be broken when they come to power. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), in an interview in Accra on Thursday, he said BREDA was very concerned about trokosi, which is a cultural practice that enslaves girls in shrines to atone for the sins of members of their families.

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The practice is widespread in the South-Eastern part of the Volta Region and Dangbe areas of the Greater Accra Region. Mr Djokoto challenged politicians to bring these outmoded cultural practices to the fore to engender the necessary debate to eradicate them in society. In June 1998 government passed a law proscribing the practice of trokosi, leading to the release of a number of slaves, however the practice is still being practiced. Mr Djokoto said the GBC in collaboration with the Danish Mission Council Development Department (DMCDD) is engaged in a number of social interventions in the country, including HIV/AIDS campaign, provision of educational facilities and women empowerment projects in a number of deprived communities.

He commended DMCDD and the Baptist Union of Denmark (BUD) for supporting the socially oriented activities of GBC. DMCDD provided a grant of about 90,000 dollars for a three-year period to aid the training of freed slaves at the Baptist Vocational Training Centre, at Frankadua in the Eastern Region. Mr Djokoto said a visit by BUD officials to Ghana including Mr Thomas spanner, Development Officer of the organisation would make it easy for future co-operation in the fight for the course of the trokosi victims and lead to a possible financial assistance between the Danish International Development Agency, BREDA, GBC and DMCDD to assist in their liberation and support. This, he said would be captured on a large scale during the second phase of the project co-operation. Mr Djokoto said the BUD officials also discussed the possibility of making Ghana the third African country for support apart from Rwanda and Burundi. The Reverend Stephen Asante, President of the Convention appealed to government and other stakeholders to support the centre especially with funds and adequate teaching and learning materials in order to continue to assist the vulnerable in society. Dr Christina Amoako-Nuamah, Board Chairman of BREDA urged the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the various political parties and other stakeholders to help combat trokosi.

Source: GNA
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