International Needs Ghana (INGH), a Non-governmental Christian Development Organisation, last Tuesday organised a ceremony to reward the most safe and child-friendly communities in the Central Region.
It is being implemented in 21 communities in the Effutu Municipality, Gomoa East and Gomoa West districts.
The beneficiary communities include Penkye, Akosua Village, New Winneba, Gyangyanadze, Ateitu, Atekyedo, Osubonpanyin, Anapansu, Akotsi, Kweikrom, Gomoa Fetteh and Kwame Adwer.
The rest are Akwamu, Dahom, Appiakrom Debiso, Bewadze, Mankoadze, Mfantseman Akyemfo, Otsew and Abrekum.
The project has the objective of promoting safe and protective environment for children that will prevent and respond to child abuse and exploitation at the community level.
To this end, 21 Community Child Protection Committees (CCPC) were established and trained to facilitate accessible, preventive and responsive child protection services in their communities.
It also involves the building of the capacity of formal child protection institutions at the district level so that in partnership with the CCPC they would prevent and respond to child abuse and exploitation.
The ceremony, which was on the theme: ‘Protecting the rights of the child; our collective responsibility’, was attended by parents, children and chiefs.
The Executive Director of the NGO, Mr Edmond Vanderpuye, said a lot of progress had been made with the implementation of the project in the communities.
He said the communities have made giant strides in their efforts to promote safe and child-friendly environment of their children.
He stated that parents, traditional leaders and other stakeholders had roles to play as well as work together to ensure that children grew in safe and protected environment that would enhance their personal development.
He commended the communities for their efforts in ensuring that children in their respective areas were free from all forms of child abuse adding that ‘the decision by the communities to embrace the project would indeed contribute to the development of the children in such areas’.
He noted that his outfit would continue to work with their partners and other state institutions to ensure that the rights of the Ghanaian child were always protected or safeguarded.
In a speech read on her behalf, the National Director of the Department of Children, Madam Helina Obeng Asamoah, said children in Ghana constituted one of the largest groups of people in the country whose rights must always be guarded.
She called on the adult population to always ensure that children were protected from abuse so that they would be able to realise their potentials in life.
She thanked all development partners who continued to contribute towards the annual celebration of the national children’s day.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Effutu, Mr Francis Ackon Tagoe, entreated the children to see people in higher positions as their role models so that by so doing they would be motivated to aspire to greater heights.
He urged them not to be distracted by some of the social vices, but be more focused on their plans, so that with determination they would achieve their aspirations.
He cautioned parents who pushed their daughters to go after men to desist from such acts since it was a major contributory factor to the increase in teenage pregnancy in the country.
For his part, the Gomoa East District Chief Executive, Mr Jonamoah Moses Jehu-Appiah, admonished parents to always strive to make their homes safe and friendly for the sake of their children.
The Chief of the town, Nana Osafo Ninsen XVIII in an address, welcomed the intervention by the NGO with a pledge to ensure that children in the area were protected from all forms of abuse.