The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has urged families not to shirk their responsibility of raising children to realise their full potential in life.
According to her, while other support systems may be available to assist children’s development, it was the core mandate of the family to see to the growth of the child into a responsible adult.
Speaking at the launch of a 78 kilometre hike by the SOS Children’s Village to raise funds to support vulnerable children in the country, the First Lady held that “families are the centre of our lives, the foundation they give us determine how we shape our lives and attitudes, build our self-esteem and give us the vital ingredient of a meaningful life.”
“It is a shared responsibility on all of us to ensure we provide every child with a strong foundation to enable them unleash their full potential and contribute to the development of our world,” she stated.
Mrs Akufo-Addo commended the organisation for its work over the years in providing humanitarian and developmental assistance to vulnerable children across the world.
She particularly lauded The Netherlands wing of the organisation for partnering with their Ghanaian counterparts to raise funds to support helpless children in Ghana, expressing the hope that the move would go a long way to impact lives positively in the country.
The Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Ron Strikker noted the hike was timely as it ties in with the commemoration of this year’s International Day of the Rights of the Child to demand action for children’s rights across the globe.
In his view, the collaboration of the SOS, The Netherlands and Ghana to raise funds through the hike reflected the strong long standing bilateral relationship between both countries in many areas.
Mr Strikker urged that the bond is sustained through targeted interventions to impact positively on children to enable them realise their potential.
On his part, Mr Alexander Mar Kekula, National Director of SOS Children’s Village, Ghana, believed the best investment a country can give to its children is quality education, adding that funds raised from the hike would go into supporting vulnerable children attain their educational dreams.
He explained that funds would be generated from participants embarking on the two-day exercise, potential donors as well as friends and ambassadors of the organisation to assist the work of the SOS Children’s Village, Ghana.
“We hope to raise us much as possible to assist these children; we still have lots of children sleeping on the streets, some, their parents can’t genuinely take care of them and we want to assist such children.
“We are running many programmes for children already, working with basic schools across the country to provide them needed materials, children who can’t go to school, we support them to acquire skills so we hope to expand these commitments through this hike,” he said.
About 100 participants are expected to undertake the SOS hike dubbed “Miles that Matter” through routes including Prampram, Tema, Shai Hills among others.
The 24 hour fundraising event forms part of the 45th anniversary celebration of SOS Children’s Village, Ghana.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH