Thursday, May 27, 2010


From: Joseph Ziem, Tamale

The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana says the practice of keeping children in institutions for the rest of their lives is counter-productive to their growth and should be discouraged.

According to John Dramani Mahama, research has shown that children who grew up in institutions suffered from retarded brain and emotional development problems as compared to children with their parents.

He therefore, emphasized that the proliferation of orphanages was not a good development for the country adding that, “it is breaking down the social fabric by disintegrating the time tested and cherished extended family system where children are supposed to be raised to learn the culture of their forebears”.

Mr. Mahama said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Mr. Antwi-Boasiako Sekyere recently at the inauguration of the Tamale SOS Children’s Village.

According to him, there was the need to protect and safeguard the nation’s culture of safety that took care of the vulnerable and disadvantaged in the society in spite of the breakdown of the family system.

Mr. Mahama also observed that most of the children living in orphanages or foster homes in Ghana were not orphans but are put there by greedy and selfish individuals or groups who were using them to solicit for alms.

He stressed that when it comes to the development of children it required a collaborative effort by the society at large to achieve success in terms of moral upbringing and physical development, saying “government is committed to helping children who are living under difficult circumstances”.

The much awaited SOS Children’s Village Ghana begun operations in January 18th this year, and currently has 45 inmates, runs a basic school from Nursery to Junior High School, a Soccer Academy and a Medical Centre. It also runs community based social and educational programmes for residents of Kambonayilli and other surrounding communities within which it operates.

The Village was established by SOS International, and has up-to-date facilities to ensure the total comfort of the children, mainly referred there from the Social Welfare Department, the Ghana Police Service and some non-governmental organizations.

The National Director of SOS Children’s Village Ghana, Kojo Mattah, said the SOS Villages thrived on the benevolence of individuals and corporate bodies and appealed for support from the public to support its activities.

He pledged the readiness of the Village to respond to the evolving demands of children, especially those in vulnerable circumstances in the wake of increasing child abandonment, poverty and family disintegration.

The Northern Regional Minister, Mr. Moses Mabengba, who donated Gh¢1,000 to the orphanage, urged all, especially parents, to proclaim good family values at home in the wake of increasing child delinquencies since the family is the heart of society.

He commended the management of the village for building a centre in the Northern Region and promised them the assistance of the Regional Coordinating Council if the need arose. The Consar Construction Limited that put up the structure donated a 4x4 pick-up to the SOS Village.

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