The project which seeks to build capacity of community child protection committees to carry out activities that will prevent child abuse and also offer early response to child abuse cases, is being implemented mainly in three assemblies namely; Effutu Municipal Assembly, Gomoa East District Assembly and the Gomoa West District Assembly.
The project dubbed ‘Promoting Enhanced Safe and Protective Environment for Children’ (PESPEC), is being led by opinion leaders in the various communities from January 2014 to December 2016.
Addressing the gathering at a ceremony to award the safest and child friendly community at Gomoa Akoti, Miss Emelia Alan, a child protection specialist at the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, (UNICEF), said the future of Ghana depends on the protective environment for children.
According to her, making communities safe and protective for children would help the country build a better future.
“Let me assure you that; if the children are not protected, what we build today would be in vain. We need to make our communities safe and protective for them. It takes a community to raise children; this is because; our dreams, our development, our tomorrow as Ghanaian people depend a lot on this,” she emphasized.
The Executive Director of International Needs Ghana, Edmond Vanderpuye, charged opinion leaders to be committed to ensuring the safety and protection of every child in until a violence-free world is achieved.
“We all have a responsibility as parents, as teachers, as traditional rulers, as state actors mandated to work in the interest of children, civil society organisations and community members, we need to work together to ensure that the children in our communities grow in a safe and protective environment to prevent all forms of violent and abuse of children till we achieve a violence free world,” he stated.
Alexander Sefa Boadu, the Human Resource Director of the Department of Children, alluded to the fact that the government of Ghana has enacted several laws to protect the rights of children.
He noted that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, is committed to the protection of every Ghanaian child.
He also revealed that the Ministry would soon outdoor the child and family policy and the justice for children policy to augment the well-being of children in Ghana.
The District Chief Executive for Gomoa East Assembly, Jonamoah Moses Jehu-Appiah, lauded International Needs Ghana for implementing child protective projects in the central region.
The chief of Gomoa Akoti, Nana Osafo Ninsen XVII, promised to ensure that children in the community would keep enjoying the safest and conducive environment in order to enhance teaching and learning.
The winner of the award, Gomoa Akoti, received a volley ball court, five sets of jersey and six volley balls.
The second community, Gomoa Otsew, got a tennis board, five sets of jersey and tennis balls.
Osubonpanyin, which came third, also received two sets of jersey and four footballs.
This year’s ceremony was held under the theme: ‘Protecting the rights of a Ghanaian child; our collective responsibility’.
By: Akwesi Koranten/citifmonline.com/Ghana