Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Connexions has held a workshop to deliberate on the re-integration of orphans into family settings to help them grow into responsible citizens.
The workshop, which is in line with the celebration of orphans’ week, climaxing with orphan Sunday activities, brought together identifiable groups such as Social Welfare, National Commission of Civic Education (NCCE), religious organizations, traditional rulers to discuss the welfare of children within the Ningo Prampram district.
In a statement before the workshop on Thursday at the Ebenezer Methodist Church, Prampram, a Director of OVC Connexions, Reverend David Kwadwo Ofosuhene, indicated that, “Orphanages are not places for orphans but a temporal and a last minute resort and then the children are re-integrated into a family structure.”
Rev. Ofosuhene informed that orphans were supposed to be asserts to the state, but placing them in large numbers in orphanages under the care of few foster mothers did not help in making them the people they were supposed to be.
“They know they are not related to the foster parents, so they wonder why they are left there. In the end, they leave after 18 and are not connected to any family relations. We therefore propose an orphan care within families to make the children feel belonged which would help in their overall development.,” the cleric explained.
Rev. Ofosuhene said the idea was to lookout for orphans in the District, raise funds to take care of their feeding, education, and locate persons who were willing to but did not have the means to foster a child.
“Stakeholders would come in to train such persons, pay for the cost of taking care of the child and the child would be given to them to foster.
“It comes to a time when these orphans become liabilities which is not supposed to be so. This is the time that churches, individuals, philanthropies, good people, turn to the word of God and meet the needs of orphans and widows, orphans are God’s children who need the help they deserve,” he stressed.
The Country Coordinator for OVC in Ghana, Mr. Eric Ampofo, in his remarks before the workshop, said every child was born into a family, and “it’s the right of every child to grow in a family. But sometimes some children lose such a right which makes their upbringing difficult.”
Mr. Ampofo said the Ghanaian society was gradually destroying the support system which should help children to grow, because Ghanaians had left the extended family system and had adopted the nuclear system which cut off other members of the family and rendered children alienated.
He said that attitude had consequences. “We are neglecting orphans, they don’t have any space. Orphans and vulnerable children cannot fall on the extended family which should have been there if parents could not take care of their children,” he lamented.
Mr. Ampofo asked government not to take children from their parents at the slightest challenge on the part of the parent and place them in orphanages which may not take proper care of them, but help to solve the challenge so the child could continue to stay with their parents.
OVC is an organization that wants to meet the needs of orphans by placing them into family-based care patterns and to support them in their education and other endeavours.
The organization is also into the training of care givers and orphans and vulnerable, providing psychological support for the orphan and vulnerable, assisting in the provision of secular education for the vulnerable, and organises camp meetings to inspire orphans to become responsible citizens in society.
The orphan week observation and celebration seek the public’s attention on the welfare of orphans.