The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a maiden conference in Accra, on Thursday, to engender a national discourse on the need to strengthen family system, to promote national development.
The event that was organised by the church in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), on the theme: “My family, My Strength,” brought together participants from different religious backgrounds from Ghana, La Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Nigeria, Togo and Sierra Leone.
The sector Deputy Minister, Madam Freda Prempeh, speaking at the meeting, reminded the public that the family system formed the foundation for development, and cautioned that a weak family tie, does not only affect relations negatively, but also have effect on the nation.
Madam Prempeh noted that the family is an important agent of socialisation, where children internalise good habits, values and norms that society cherishes,.
She said “a healthy and solid family translates into healthy and solid society thereby positively impacting socioeconomic development”.
In fact, the family is the foundation for the building of a strong and well-knitted nation that can play influential role in the upbringing of children, to become useful to society.
Society thrives when parents are able to promote the positive development of the child, to complement efforts of other agents of socialisation, like the school system and the church.
The Ghanaian Times commends organisers of the conference, for their efforts at strengthening family values to promote peaceful co-existence and national development.
Particularly, we reiterate the call by the president of the West Africa Region of the church, to the government and stakeholders to promote measures to strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
Undoubtedly, we need peace and stability for national development, and we believe that strenghtening of the family value system would facilitate our resolve to build a united, peaceful and prosperous society.
We must give maximum care and attention to children in their formative stage because they form an integral part of the family system, and their welfare is critical to our survival as a society.
Our children remain vulnerable largely, as a result of irresponsible parenting and lack of will power to enforce laws on child protection care.
Sadly, the future for our children and by extension our survival as a society appears bleak.
Ghana has signed onto various conventions and treaties to promote child care and we have taken measures to incorporate them into our national laws.
However, children, who are future leaders, and assets have become object of child trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse, child labour, exploitation and hawking, and roaming the streets doing menial jobs at the expense of their education.
There is the need to step up enforcement of laws to strengthen the family system for sustainable development.
The Ghanaian Times is also worried that essential values like patriotism, hard work, honesty, trust, sense of urgency and respect, especially for the elderly, are fast eluding us, thereby weakening our society.
Additionally, it is our considered opinion that empowering women with resources would have a profound impact on the stability and survival of family.
We must strengthen our family system and rediscover national values that distinguish us as Ghanaians with rich cultural heritage and common goal.