Compassion International Ghana on Wednesday marked its 15th Anniversary in Accra with a call on state and non-state actors to embrace a shared responsibility of investing in the grooming of children and the youth.
It was on the theme: “Child and Youth Development: A shared responsibility.”
Professor William Otoo Ellis, the Children’s Director for the Church of Pentecost, and a former Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, said children and the youth were the most important assets to the family, society and nation, and as such deliberate attention must be directed towards meeting their developmental needs.
He said about 85 per cent of the influence on a child’s life came from the home, adding; “Children will be what their home is”.
Prof Ellis said the fundamental responsibility of a child and youth development lay with parents and guardians, and that even though the task of grooming them was delicate, difficult, demanding and stressful, it was equally satisfying.
“Again, it takes a lot of time, resources, patience and love. In the process of training and imparting, there is an element of nurturing and the best approach which also gives the best results is when it is all done according to God’s ways,” he said.
“Nurturing is about training, upbringing, taking care of, protecting or providing to someone,” he said.
Prof Ellis said for nurturing and training to be effective in the process of raising Godly children, one must live whatever they taught or transferred to the child both in word and lifestyle.
He cited a 2010 World Bank Report on children and youth saying; “under-investments in children and the youth are difficult to reverse in life and the price for society is high. Thus, it is important to invest early, than to repair later”.
He said the fast changing trends in society and the challenges they presented called for an urgency to build the capacities of the children both in the knowledge and skill of the Christian faith to enable them to discern the times and respond to issues as and when they showed up.
Reverend Dr Joyce Rosalind Aryee, the Founder of Salt and Light Ministries, said by virtue of the fact that every parent or guardian had once been a child, they understood the challenges that children faced whilst growing up.
However, she said it was unfortunate that most adults relegated the responsibility of meeting the developmental needs of children to the background.
“Every adult has to take up grooming of children and youth seriously, especially those in the Church. Every adult is to act as an agent of transformational change in the lives of children and youth, bearing in mind who they once were and who they are now,” she said.
Madam Gifty Dansoah Appiah, National Director of Compassion International Ghana, said the Organisation had financially supported 92,000 children and youth.
She said 21,000 of them were enrolled in the junior and senior high schools whilst 833 had completed tertiary education.
She said 280 of them had also received support to attain vocational training and 1,850 beneficiaries, who had benefited from their programme, were well established in various sectors of the economy.
“Other assistance given to the youth include, provision of accommodation and allowances, drilling of boreholes, building of toilet facilities, and financial support to pregnant women to receive antenatal care, among others,” she said.