Keep proper records on kids in orphanages

The Upper West Regional Multi-Sectoral Committee on Child Welfare and Protection has tasked orphanages to keep up-to-date data on children in their care.

They should also document the causes of the death of their parents for statistical and health management purposes.

The committee made the recommendation when it visited the Jirapa Orphanage and realised that all the children there had lost their mothers but the causes of their deaths had not been recorded.

The Committee was on tour to orphanages and illegal mining areas in the region to have first hand information about the conditions and challenges facing children in those areas and how they were coping up with their challenges.

It said it was, however, happy that all the children of school going age were enrolled though a lot of children in the region had left the classrooms for illegal mining communities to the neglect of their education.

The Committee said it was also disturbing that in those communities with illegal mining activities there were no schools to cater for the large numbers of children who had gone there to mine.

The committee, therefore, recommended to the government to introduce educational interventions to support the two private pre-schools there while district assemblies also consider the construction of kindergarten structures in addition to any school projects that they undertake.

The government, it said, should insolate juvenile cases from the regular justice system while efforts were made to enrol children of school-going age and also registered them with the National Health Insurance Scheme.

They should also be given birth certificates.

The committee suggested that all vulnerable children who were registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme should have the renewal of their cards waived off and issuance be made free for them to continue to enjoy the scheme.

A young girl who was accused of being a witch and was nearly lynched was rescued by members of the Committee and she is now in school.

Elopements of young girls are still prevalent, they said, and noted is very high in some communities in the region.

Street begging and trading among children is also high in the Wa Municipality.

The committee discovered that in the Wa West District young children are sent to neighbouring Burkina Faso for six months’ rituals fortification in a shrine thereby impeding their immunisation against the childhood killer diseases and disrupting their education.

Such children return home with new names given to them by the shrine and they no longer respond to their native names for fear of dying.

The Committee said thousands of Ghana Cedis to be paid by the district under the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) Programme was returned to government chest by officials of the Social Welfare Department because the beneficiaries were unavailable.

The committee suggested that serious public education be embarked upon in the region to educate the people to reform their traditional beliefs and practices to pave way for development.

Source: GNA

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