Child Research and Resource Centre (CRRECENT) has taken another giant step by singing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development as part of its efforts to help secure the lives of the youth and also protect the human resource potentials of the nation.
During the signing ceremony, which took place at the National Office of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development in Accra, the Executive Director of CRRECENT Mrs. Susan Sabaa, stated that CRRECENT has enjoyed a cordial collaborative relationship with the Department since it began the re-integration of juvenile offenders in 2011.
According to her, the department has been very supportive with professional support from the Justice Administration Unit.
“Signing this MOU today signifies a real milestone. Together with the Department, we are making a statement about our preparedness to secure the youth and also contribute our quota to protecting the human resource potential of the nation,” she averred.
She noted that re-integrating young people into society after their release from incarceration is a very necessary step in the chain of juvenile justice delivery.
“Juvenile offenders after serving their sentence look forward to societal support for a stable, independent and fulfilled life. They are however met with hostility even from their families and then the larger public with very little or no systematic and comprehensive support service and programme to prevent their re-offending,” she lamented.
She said youth programmes and employment schemes fail to cover these offenders as these schemes do not consider the unique circumstances these young ones find themselves in.
“Stigmatised, neglected, with very little or no support, they often find themselves pushed back into crime, more heinous than what sent them into incarceration.
This makes them double victims of societal failure and system weakness since these same situations triggered their delinquent behaviours to a larger extent. These are victims not criminals for that matter,” she pointed out.
According her, most of them are victims of parental irresponsibility, poverty, weakness in the educational system, uncontrolled media, lack effective counselling services in the schools, lack of positive recreational outlets for young people and job unavailability.
“If these loopholes are plugged, a good number of young people could be prevented from going wayward.’
We believe that if social protection schemes can directly synergise with child protection programmes and combined with effective targeting of the most vulnerable in society, juvenile can be reduced in the country.
The National Director of Department of Social Welfare and Community Development Mr. Daniel Nonah, commended CRRECENT for taking a judicious step to collaborate with his department to help address issues affecting children especially the youth in the country.
He gave the assurance that his outfit will work closely with CRRECENT to champion the welfare of the youth in the country in order to make Ghana a haven for all and sundry.
CHILD RESEARCH AND RESOURCE CENTRE (CRRECENT) is a civil society institution that focuses on evidence-based programmes to promote child and youth rights and development as a direct function of national development.
The organization is registered as a private voluntary not-profit company limited by guarantee with a vision to contributing to building a well-integrated society that recognizes children in every sector and creates the necessary space and opportunity to respond to their developmental needs.
CRRECENT’s mission is to strive to be the leading child-based research and resource institution that uses evidence-based programmes and projects in changing lives and giving hope and opportunity to disadvantaged vulnerable children and youth in partnership with stakeholders and creating online one stop shop data and information bureau on children and youth in West Africa; this we will undertake through research, evidence based policy, advocacy and social enterprise programmes with diligence, passion, sincerity and integrity.
Present at the signing were Mr Fred Sakyi Boafo, Deputy Director in charge of Child and Family Welfare, Madam Georgina Mensah, Deputy Director in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation and Mr Steve Dombo, Head of the NGO Unit of the Department and Mrs Efua Chidi of CRRECENT
Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh