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Chance for Children celebrates 20th anniversary

An Educationist, Daniela Rudisuli Sodjah, has called for more collaboration between government institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) to effectively reduce the number of street children across the country.

She observed that despite the efforts of various NGO’s and governmental bodies over the years, the menace was still prevalent with no significant improvements.

“The number of children on the streets keeps increasing; this is largely due to the growing population in the country and the inability of most families to cater for the wards due to their dire financial situations.

“But this is where we can both harness resources and services effectively so that we can make the necessary impact in the lives of these children”, Mrs Sodjah stated.

She made this call at the 20th anniversary celebrations of international NGO, Chance for Children (CFC) at the organisation’s residential home in Hebron, a suburb of Nsawam last week.

According to Mrs Sodjah, the centre was planning to expand their activities  to reach more street-connected children by opening two new centres in Kumasi and Tamale by January next year.

CFC was founded by Swiss national Mrs Sodjah in 1999 to reach out to children living on the streets across the country with assistance from her two Ghanaian directors, Amon Kotey and Daniel Nartey.

Dignitaries that joined the charity organisation to mark the celebrations included Swiss Ambassador Mr Philip Stalder, the Chief of Hebron, Mr Nii John Torto I, Head of Department of Social Welfare, Mr Daniel Nonah, wife of the German Ambassador, Mrs Nathalie Retzlaf, and Dr Heike Drechsel-Attah of a partner organisation Kinder Paradise.

Children of CFC entertained guests with drumming, dancing, recitals and a drama performance, designed to give the patrons a glimpse into the life transformation that has occurred in their lives since they enrolled at the centre.

There was also a featured art installation by ace Ghanaian photographer Nana Kofi Acquah designed to highlight the sharp contrast between the harsh realities for street children in Accra and the playful opportunities they experience at the Drop in Centre (DIC) located in Jamestown and Abossey Okai respectively.

Special Guest, Swiss Ambassador, Philip Stalder, on behalf of the government of Switzerland praised Mrs Sodjah and CFC for their excellent charity work in Ghana, and added that the partnership was a good example of a Ghanaian-Swiss partnership and its sustainability must be lauded especially when they lacked governmental support in the formative stages.

Mr Daniel Nonah, who commended CFC for their work in the past 20 years, said the CFC and the DSW had worked together on different projects and always collaborated as they were both committed organisations working towards alleviating the plight of street children.

Chairman of the occasion, Nii John Torto I who performed the cake-cutting to mark the occasion, advised the children to make good use of the confidence reposed in them by taking their studies seriously in order to have better lives and to give back to society in their adult age.

BY NANA BENTSI ODURO

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