Guidance, Counselling Centre for women, children inaugurated

Hope Centre

Hope Centre

A one-stop centre to provide guidance and counselling and other support services to abused and marginalised women and children across the country has been inaugurated in Accra yesterday.

The Hope Centre expected to be run by certified clinical psychologists and pastoral counsellors will complement existing efforts at advancing the course of women and protecting their rights to contribute meaningfully to socio-economic growth.

It will also serve as the home office of Women Empowerment Foundation International (WEFI), a non-profitable women centred organisation which engages women mostly in the informal sector through advocacy and capacity building initiatives.

The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Gifty Twum-Ampofo in a remark observed the highly risky conditions under which women worked yet their contributions were often undervalued in national development efforts.

She mentioned the lack of infrastructural support, health and educational facilities that disadvantaged women in the informal sector.

Mrs Twum-Ampofo outlining ongoing reforms and interventions by her Ministry to lessen the harhship faced by women in the country, expressed the need for strengthened partnership between players in the informal sector and policy makers to guarantee women’s rights and safety.

According to her, the inauguration of the Hope Centre was timely to afford the Ministry with accurate data on “market women and others in the informal sector and how we can address their challenges so as to achieve gender equality and women empowerment for the sustainable development of our country.”

Former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings opening the facility charged women not to “allow the quest for money to take the place of giving your children proper grooming and nurturing.”

Expressing worry over the breakdown in values and morals amongst the youth, Mrs Rawlings insisted that “parents should not allow children to think because of education they cannot do house chores. Teach them respect, humility of life and hard work to become responsible in future.”

In a welcome address, the Chief Coordinator of WEFI, Mr Joshua A. Nyemasem recounted how the nation had paid little attention to the psychological health of its people leading to high cases of depression “translating into abuses, domestic violence, mental cases and divorce.”

He said the Centre had come in handy to help mitigate such problems as “we have qualified and experienced psychologists and pastoral counsellors recommended by the Ghana Psychological Council ready to provide services to our clients.”

“We will also make conscious effort to sensitise the public to prioritise this aspect of their health needs to ensure they lead better lives and contribute to the development of Ghana,” he added.

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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