(A GNA News feature by Hannah Asomaning)
Accra, March 22, GNA - The Reverend Mrs Jemima Amanor, Country Direc= tor of Compassion International, Ghana, a nongovernmental organization that takes care of poor and vulnerable children, believes that every child whether from a rich family background or a poor family background, is poo= r.
"Global and national statistics all point to one fact - that children are the face of poverty," she says, explaining that a child does not have th= e power to do anything for himself and is totally dependent on adults or th= e society, therefore children are poor
Children are so innocent when they are born, what they become in future depends to a large extent on the family they belong to, the kind of environment they grow in, the love shown to them by parents or guardians and what the society as a whole invest in them According to the Rev. Amanor, how children are brought up explains the difference between a child raised in America and the one from Ghana, or the difference between a child raised by Christian parents and one raised by parents who are not Christians.
She says the way children are nurtured does not only affect the fami= ly they come from, or the society in which they live, but also affects the development of the nation as a whole.
Child neglect has become the biggest crises facing the world today and=
according to The Rev. Amanor, the very children who are neglected would become armed robbers, terrorists and pursue other social vices that tend to hurt the society. The Rev. Amanor, therefore, urged leaders especially those in politi= cs, to use the platform to advocate for children especially those from poor families. Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the fifth anniversary of Compassion International, she said: "Children are innocent=
and the society needs to protect them against abuse and neglect and provi= de safe and nurturing environment for them to flourish."
Compassion International which has been in existence for 58 years is=
five years old in Ghana. Originally, it was established by an American journalist, Everett Swanson, who was sent to cover the Korean War of the 1950s. In the course of his duty, he was touched by the many orphans and abandoned children left to die because of the war.
When Everett went back to America he did not just report on what he s= aw but went beyond the newsroom to raise funds to take care of these childre= n. Compassion International moved beyond America and Korea to many other=
countries where the organization saw the need to cater for poor and needy=
The NGO has been in Africa for over 25 years now and currently operat= es in eight African countries including Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia,=
Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. The Rev. Amanor said in Ghana, Compassion International was currentl= y nurturing 24,000 needy children in the Greater Accra and Central Regions and said it would soon expand its activities to the Eastern Region. She said the organization works with churches that identify the need= y children within the community they operate. The Churches use their premis= es as Child Development Centres where the selected children meet every Satur= day to learn.
"Compassion International Ghana's target is to register and nurture 43,600 children in 186 child development centres by the end of year 2012.= " The Rev. Amanor said: "The children go through a programme called "Child Development through Sponsorship Programme", and are trained on Christian principles with the hope that one of them will rise to become t= he President of Ghana in future".
The organization through the various churches is also providing what is termed "Holistic Child Development," programme which involves taking care= of the spiritual, emotional, physical and economic needs of the child. The Rev. Amanor is of the conviction that what Compassion Internation= al does and continues to do for children would release them from the bondage= s of poverty and help them to become useful adults in the future. "If you are not already an advocate for children, this is the time t= o join hands with us, as we celebrate five years of holistic child developm= ent in Ghana", she said. 22 March 10