Christian movement launches support for orphans
A Christian movement, Ghana Without Orphans (GWO), has begun an initiative to create awareness and sensitise the public, especially Christians, to the need to support orphans and vulnerable children in society.
Dubbed the “Orphan Sunday”, the event, which started on November 8, this year, and is expected to continue every Sunday in the month of November, is on the theme “Defend the Cause of the Fatherless”.
The programme is expected to bring together more than 5,000 orphans in Accra and create the avenue for them to be properly groomed.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra, the Deputy Director of the Department of Social Welfare (DSW,) Mr Fred Sakyi Boafo, said the initiative would provide the platform for Christian communities to extend assistance to orphans.
Statistics on orphans
According to the global statistics on orphans, more than one billion children are said to be exposed to various forms of violence annually, while 152 million are considered orphans.
At least, seven million children literally have no one in their lives and need a permanent family. Mr Boafo said Ghana now had the Child and Family Welfare Policy, a policy which sought to establish a well- structured child and family welfare system.
He said the overall goal was to help formulate child and family welfare programmes and activities to more effectively prevent and protect children from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
“The policy recognises a child as a person below the age of 18 in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 1992 fourth Republican Constitution of Ghana (Article 28) and the Children’s Act, 1998 (Section 1),” Mr Boafo said.
He said as part of the efforts to address poverty and strengthen families, GWO had initiated a project at Tema Manhean, Christened: “From Street to School Project”, aimed at identifying children in need of care and protection, especially those who roamed about at the canoe fishing harbour.
Mr Boafo explained that the initiative, which took off in August 2015, was to ensure that all children who had dropped out of school due to poverty and other unfortunate conditions were enrolled in school.
The National Co-ordinator of GWO, Rev. George Abaidoo, said the GWO had the mandate to restore orphans and vulnerable children to their relatives or adoptive/ foster Christian families.
He said the focus would be mainly on children who had been abused, neglected, rendered homeless, exploited and also those emancipating from orphanage care to independence.