By Paa Kwesi Agyefi
A donation including medicines, bandages, plasters and other medical equipment has been made to the Senior Correctional Centre (SCC) formerly the Ghana Borstal Institute in Accra last Thursday.
The gesture was a quick response on the part of Osei Kusi Foundation (OKF) when authorities of the SCC placed a call to them about the shortage of medicines that had befallen the infirmary few days ago.
The Senior Correctional Center formally called the Ghana Borstal Institute was established on 18th?May 1947 as a juvenile institution with the aim of preventing juvenile offenders from a wasted way of life. Inmates of the?center are there as a result of?committing various offenses such as: Stealing, Unlawful entry, Assault, Rape and defilement, threatening as well as Drugs among others. Previously, the inmates who are all boys?serve a mandatory period three years, but?under the Juvenile Justice Act (Act 653) they are now detained for a minimum period of three months to a maximum of three years depending upon the?gravity of the offense. Aside the gesture, Rev. Alfred Owusu Boateng dived inmates into the spiritual realm with the word of God, stressing the need for ?One to remember his Creator in his Youthful days, for evil days were ahead. According to him, what God expects from the youth is for them to search within them, locate their talents and wisdom endowed them by God and practices it judiciously to the benefit of others. Since the donation was done in collaboration with West African Aids, a Non-Governmental Organization which runs a clinic and led by Dr. Naa Vanderpujie taught inmates how to keep a healthy lifestyle devoid of sickness.
Inmates and interested Wardens were also screened, advised and prescribed medicines for illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Chief Executive Officer of OKF, Mr. Kofi Osei Kusi noted that the foundation?s vision was to invest in young people however, it wasa pleasure spending GH?2, 500 to purchase the items for the Correctional Centre. He pointed out that most of the challenges facing the inmates and the Centre at large were those they could afford to help hence their numerous visits. Even though he felt edible could have excited the inmates a little bit more, the Chief Executive believes the medicines and the equipment would make an impact.
Mr. Kusi advised the Warden to allow the inmates go for medical checkup and screenings every 6 months to prevent outbreak of diseases. ?I call on Corporate Ghana to come to the aid of this Centre and help in the reforming of these children?, he urged. The officer in charge of visit, ASP Odoi Yemoh, appreciated OKF for their numerous supports they have given the Centre in their numerous encounters with them. She however advocated for more donations in the form of feeding and medical items to compliment the efforts of the government. Accessing the number of things government had to cater for, the ASP believed it was doing its best yet she appealed to corporate institutions and other Philanthropists to adopt each of the dormitories and maintain it for them.
She was of the view that it had been their vision to fence the Centre and provide for the inmates a bus that would convey those that attend secondary schools outside in and out without exposing them to the external behaviors, hence a gesture in that direction would be much appreciated. ASP Yemoh, further appealed for tools for inmates that learnt hand skill jobs to establish themselves without taking to the streets immediately after serving their period. Mr. Osei Kusi presenting the items to ASP Odoi Yemoh, others include Dr. Naa Vandepuje (far right)