Coalition of NGOs in Ghana Urge Government to Prioritise Children’s Right
A Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Ghana led by Safe-Child Advocacy, a charitable and non-profit making organization owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi, has called on the Government to make child-right protection a priority in the year 2021 and beyond.
The call comes at a time the world is marking Children’s Day and the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Right of the Child on Friday November 20, 2020.
This was stated in a press release issued by the Coalition comprising the Safe-Child Advocacy; Centre for Development and Advocacy Policy-Ghana; Centre for Initiative Against Human Trafficking; Muslim Family Counselling Services; Service Awareness Support Organization; Song-Ba Empowerment Centre; Starlight Foundation; Urban Poor Child Organisation; Vulnerable Aid Organization-Ghana; Adamfo Ghana.
The statement revealed that the Coalition is ready to partner with which ever government is elected in the upcoming December polls.
“On December 7, the people of Ghana will be electing their president and government for the coming 4 years. Regardless of the outcome of the elections, the coalition of NGOs is keen to work together with the newly elected president and government officials to make 2021 the year of the Children of Ghana,” the Coalition stated.
Adding, the said, “The coalition consists of a great number of professional organisations with many years of hands-on experience with working with street connected children and youth. The organisations are knowledgeable and well-informed on the issues at hand.”
“We look forward to join hands with the Government of Ghana to develop a National Action plan for street connected children. The time is now.” The statement said.
It continued that, too many children and youth are still deprived of their basic rights; the right to safe home, the right to education and health care, the right to be protected from violence, maltreatment and abuse. Children that are living and working on the streets are particularly vulnerable.
According to the Coalition, 30 years ago, Ghana made a historic commitment by being the first country in the world to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child, but up until now, not every child in Ghana gets to enjoy a full childhood. A development the coalition describes as worrying.
To mark the UN Convention Day, a poignant videoclip put together by the Coalition vividly shows the bad situation that Ghana’s street connected children live in.
Youth activists Ayisha and Gladys said in the clip “We have the right to education, so why are we not in school?” one of the pressing questions asked by the youngsters.
Ayisha and Gladys, who have first-hand experience of working and living on the streets of Kumasi, and can testify of the challenging conditions, poverty and abuse that young children have to survive on the streets on a daily basis grieved: “Too many of us are sleeping on the streets. Who is protecting us?” they asked.
“We produced this clip with good reason. Progress has been made since 1990, but there is more work to do. It is unacceptable that in 2020 there are still thousands of children roaming the streets of Ghana,” said Sr. Olivia Umoh, Director of Safe-Child Advocacy, one of the leading organisations of the Coalition.
According to the Catholic Nun, “It is up to our generation to demand that leaders from government and communities fulfil their responsibilities and take action for child rights now, once and for all.”
“We call on the Government of Ghana to commit to making sure ALL children in Ghana can enjoy their basic rights,” Sr. Umoh said, adding “Let us join forces and work together to achieve this laudable goal.”
Safe-Child Advocacy, as charitable and non-profit making organization, has been at the forefront in addressing the problems of street connected children as well as other vulnerable children towards rehabilitation; through sponsorship in education and skills training to enable them build a stable future and live a more dignified life. SCP also works to reintegrate these children with their families.
Safe-Child Advocacy run by a Nun of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul through its interventions is build a stable future for the children to live a more dignified life through sponsorship in education and skills training.
Children on the street of Kumasi generally migrate from very poor rural communities in Ghana particularly villages from the Northern part of Ghana to the streets of Kumasi.
Most of these children are from very poor families where parents continue to procreate without having the means to provide for their offspring. Confronted with so many children to care and provide for, these parents encourage and, in some cases, force their children to Kumasi to work and earn some income for themselves and their families.
Year after year, Safe-Child Advocacy, formerly called Street Children Project, works tirelessly to provide essential support services for vulnerable children and for the past 15 years, has impacted the lives of many of these children living in street situation with support in education and skill training and works to reintegrate them with their families.
The lives of over 10, 000 children have already been transformed by SCA from their little efforts while a good number of them have benefitted directly and others from once-off assistance.