The Ghana Without Orphans (GWO), a Christian movement and an offshoot of World Without Orphans, has been inaugurated, with the mandate of restoring orphans to their relatives or adoptive Christian families.
The movement is also established to support orphanages and children homes in the country to become more efficient in their responsibilities.
Speaking at an inauguration ceremony in Accra last Thursday, Mr. Fred Sakyi Boafo, National Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Coordinator, Department of Social Welfare, said that in Ghana, the number of orphans and vulnerable children could be estimated at 1,216,770, adding “however pragmatic steps are needed to protect them from neglect or abuse and to integrate them into society”.
Mr. Sakyi Boafo said, the department defines OVC as a person below the age of 18 years who has lost one or both parents and, therefore, exposed to moral, physical and psychological dangers.
He emphasised that, in efforts to support and cater for these vulnerable children, the country should ensure that its policies towards the care of OVC, pointed towards the promotion of family based care, with institutional care being the last option.
Rev. George Kankam Abaidoo, National Coordinator of GWO, said its vision was to give all orphans and vulnerable children a chance to move from a state of loneliness and deprivation to a joyous and better Christian family life.
He said the movement sought to establish and sustain national, regional and district networks that involved churches and their members, NGOs, business communities, media, governmental agencies, institutions, corporate organisations, among others, who could help develop orphan advocacy movements.
He said GWO would promote communication within and among orphan networks, helping advocates to share their successes and challenges and learn from each other as they design and test working models to improve services to orphans and families.
Rev. Abaidoo said one of the biggest challenges facing the Christian church today, was the ever-increasing number of children growing up without the loving care of their parents and without knowing their heavenly Father.
As part of the ceremony, Apostle Fred Tiakor, Director of Children’s Ministry, the Church of Pentecost, inducted an 11-member national steering committee to spearhead the activities of the organisation.
The members include: Madam Gertrude Opare Addo, Rev. Fred Sekyiboafo, Rev. Eric Nartey, Rev. Humphery Patterson, Rev. Emmanuel Asmah, Rev. Ernest Ekow Allins, Rev. David Ofosuhene, Madam Ama Vanderpuye, Rev. Dr. Frank Zomelo, Rev. Elijah Mahama Akpanyi and Rev. George Kankam Abaidoo as the National Coordinator.
By Charles Amankwa