As part of its objectives aimed at recognizing and acknowledging individuals and groups who play positive and life-changing roles in the society, the Advocate for Fair Legal Access Consult, Ghana, AFLAG, honoured distinguished personalities at its maiden 2023 philanthropic Awards-Charity night held at the La Palm Royal Beach hotel on Friday, 17th November, 2023.
Held on the theme “Honouring Humanitarian Heroes: Empowering Change Together,” the colorful ceremony was graced by former Chief Justice, Her. Ladyship Justice Sophia Abena Boafo Akuffo, women advocates, esteemed traditional leaders, social activists, philanthropists, CEO’s among others.
As the key note speaker for the night, Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Abena Boafo Akuffo commended AFLAG on the commitment of accessing human rights and justice.
“AFLAG, with unwavering dedication, has illuminated the path toward justice, equality, and empowerment for such marginalized members of the population. AFLAG is committed to addressing a matter that lies at the core of our shared humanity that is human rights, and more specifically, access to justice and social services that make life meaningful.
“In a world where principles of equality and justice ought to be the cornerstone of all existential structures, it is disheartening to acknowledge the persistent challenges faced by many in accessing their fundamental rights.” She noted.
According to her the significant bulk of the teeming population of inmates in our grossly shameful overcrowded prisons are therefore offences in respect of which non-custodial sentence would have sufficed.
However, she called for the immediate passage of the community service bill into action by the current government.
“In a nation where, supposedly, the accepted sentencing policy is no longer retributive, but rather reformative, this contradictory reality is quite inexplicable. Consequently, the passage of the Community Service Bill is long overdue and requires immediate action. As far as one is aware, all the necessary stakeholder-consultations have been done, thus, the systemic delay in the passage of the Bill is hard to fathom, beyond the chronic legislative lethargy. Let us rally together to cause the Bill to be passed into Law under the current administration.” Her Ladyship Sophia Abena Boafo Akuffo stated.
Sophia Abena Boafo Akuffo mentioned that the passage will help improve livelihoods of individuals and the justice system.
“The passage of this Bill will go a long way to boost humane criminal justice delivery (moving it from the Dark Ages of punishment orientation, to the 21st Century) and also help individuals, families, communities and the nation at large.
The former Chief Justice also urged stakeholders, NGOs and civil groups to advocate and pursue a common goal within the justice system. This, she noted, is a collective responsibility shared across board.
“I challenge each of us to dig deeper, to advocate more passionately, and to champion the cause of human rights with greater zeal. Working together – the government, civil society, corporate bodies, individuals and international benefactors – we can be the driving force of change, transforming obstacles into stepping stones and pits into wells, for the marginalized across Ghana. With effective collaboration, knowledge and resource sharing and application of best practices, a formidable network of support will engender the strengthening of the foundations of justice.” She said.
On her part, the founder of AFLAG, Mrs. Rita Ama Nupe Demuyakor expressed gratitude to the various honorees, philanthropists and encouraged individuals and institutions to effectively collaborate with start-up NGOs’ in order to achieve their goal.
She stated that her outfit has outline measures and plans to collaborate with institutions to enable provide support to the vulnerables as well as execute its life-changing projects across the country.
“I wish to use this medium to emphasize the imperative need for corporate bodies to rally behind start-up NGOs, not all start-up NGO’s but those with transformative visions. These budding organizations are the heartbeat of societal change, harboring the potential to address pressing issues that would make a substantial impact on our world.
“Start-up NGOs often emerge from the passionate minds of individuals fueled by a desire to tackle unmet needs in our communities. We are leaders who bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to the table. However, our journey is fraught with challenges, primarily financial constraints that hinder the realization of our noble objectives. This is where corporate support become paramount. Corporations, as pillars of economic strength, possess the resources and influence necessary to propel our start-up NGO’s towards success. By investing in our organizations, not only are you fulfiling your corporate social responsibility, but also contributing to the collective well-being of our society.” Ama Nupe Demuyakor disclosed.
The splendor of the night saw a spotlight on outstanding entities and individuals whose commitment has left an indelible mark in promoting human rights being awarded across different categories.