Ghana: Big Opportunity for Street Children

 

15 April 2008
Posted to the web 15 April 2008

Kingdom Sosu

In his bid to equip the youth with sporting skills in the country, Mr Ray Quarcoo, a renowned sports enthusiast, has set up a non-governmental organization, Bridge Foundation, run by a 61-year-old Robert Bevan, a retired British civil servant.

Moved by the request of the then Ministry of Youth and Sports (now Ministry of Education, Science and Sports) in 2002, when the late Mr Edward Osei Kwaku was the sector Minister, Mr Quarcoo, the President of Bridge Foundation started the construction of a multi purpose sports facility at Roman Ridge in Accra.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the youth centre which houses a big sports hall, training centre and a three-bed room accommodation for Coaches and trainers, on a plot of land provided in 2003 by the Ghana Railways Corporation in Accra, and inaugurated in 2003 . Mr Quarcoo, in an interview revealed that the Foundation seeks among other things to reduce the street children menace confronting the country by helping them fully develop their potential and also keep them from other social vices.

The President stated that “We will also facilitate refresher courses for our sports administrators and Coaches, as well as clinics for schools to improve sports.” He pointed out that the NGO will on its own equip the centre with modern facility and a scholarship scheme to the benefit of deserving youth who have excelled in their various fields of endeavour and also arrange for overseas training and sponsorship for national teams preparing for international competitions.

“Already, we are in serious talks with a British-based company, OPEN CAST, in the United Kingdom who have expressed their interest to come on board to make this project a huge success,” Mr Quarcoo said. According to the president, OPEN CAST are on the verge of raising funds through fund raising campaigns towards the building of a three JSS classroom block at Kokrobite, in Ghana. Through his efforts, great boxers such as Ike Quartey, the Clottey brothers, Alfred Kotey, Osumanu Yahaya among others has gained prominence.

Mr Quarcoo emphasized that the training centre is opened to children between the ages of 10-20 and with talents in sports, especially boxing and table tennis in the Accra metropolis. He is therefore appealing to individuals and corporate bodies to throw their weight behind other sports Foundations in their quest to salvage the street children menace. Already, the Foundation has started a computer training exercise for intelligent but needy children in the Roman Ridge Area and has had two graduation ceremonies already. And for some time now, Child Care Foundation, an NGO based at Malam, in Accra, visits the Bridge Foundation on Saturdays for computer training lessons under the tutelage of Nicholas Manu, a graduate volunteer of the organization. At the early stages of the constructional works, the late sports Minister visited the site and congratulated Mr Quarcoo for offering hope to the needy in society.

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra) and posted at http://streetkidnews.blogsome.com/2008/04/15/ghana-big-opportunity-for-street-children/

Published in: on June 12, 2008 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Four year old Girl Killed

Residents of Adum Nsuoase, a Kumasi suburb, woke up to the shocking news of the gruesome murder of a four-year-old girl on Tuesday morning.

The right eye and tongue had been removed and the body dumped into a big gutter close to Justmoh Conference Centre near the Railway Police station.

The corpse looked whitish and pale and a closer examination showed the girl might have been drained of blood obviously for ritual purposes by her killers, who are currently at large.

Eyewitnesses could not immediately identify her or her parents as at the time of filing this report, so it was believed she might not be a resident of the area.

The time and place of committing the heinous crime could also not be established but eyewitnesses suspected the girl could have been killed somewhere and dumped in the gutter.

Ironically, there were no blood stains either on the body of the deceased or near the gutter where she was found dead, creating the impression her killers might have strangulated her.

The deceased girl had the right side of her face swollen as well as some bruises at the lower part of her right cheek.

Source: Daily Guide

Published in: on June 12, 2008 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ghana is source for exploitation of children…

June 9, 2008 – Ghana is a major source, transit and destination country for children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation, according to a US Department of State report.

The 2008 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, officially presented by the US Embassy on Monday in Accra, said women and children were trafficked for sexual exploitation from Ghana to Western Europe, from Nigeria through Ghana to Western Europe, and from Burkina Faso through Ghana to Cote d’Ivoire.

Children are trafficked to and from other West African countries like The Gambia, Togo, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire for the same purposes.

The report, however, noted that trafficking within Ghana was more prevalent than trans-national trafficking, with the majority of the victims being children.

It said both boys and girls were trafficked within Ghana for forced labour, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, in agriculture and the fishing industry, as porters and for street hawking.

Additionally, the country is also becoming a destination for sex tourists.

The report said even though the government of Ghana had not fully complied with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficked persons, it was making “significant efforts to do so”.

“While Ghana took some law enforcement steps to address sex trafficking through police raids in the last year, there were limited investigations and prosecutions and no convictions of perpetrators of this crime,” it said.

The report also cited corruption among law enforcement officials as an obstacle to effective anti-trafficking measures in Ghana.

Ghana prohibits any form of trafficking and the law prescribes a minimum penalty of five years imprisonment for all forms of trafficking.

The report recommended that Ghana strengthened its overall efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers, investigate and close down brothels selling children into prostitution and to prosecute brothel operators.

It also recommended the suspension of government officials accused of complicity in their official duties in any case of trafficking until such official be prosecuted or cleared of such allegations.

The report recommended the development of a system for providing secure care for rescued sex trafficked victims, the creation of increased shelter space for victims, training of government social workers in identifying trafficked victims among girls and women in prostitution.

The report also prescribed increased coordination between the police and government social workers in conducting trafficking raids and rescues.
Source: GNA

Published in: on June 12, 2008 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Trafficked Children reunite with parents

afrol News, 18 May

Families of Ghana’s 25 trafficked children have been living with desperation and sorrow. But they finally have a cause to smile this week when migration organisations made it possible for them to reunite with their trafficked children.

A reunification ceremony was organised by Ghana’s Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs in collaboration with other partners, IOM in the Central Region of Ghana.

The reunification followed the rescue of the trafficked children in January. Since then they had been receiving comprehensive rehabilitation assistance, which included psychosocial counselling, medical assistance, and educational instruction at the Department of Social Welfare’s Rehabilitation Centre in Accra.
http://www.afrol.com/articles/25451

Published in: on June 9, 2008 at 3:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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