The Director of Academic Planning and Quality Assurance of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Professor Kofi Awusabo-Asare, has expressed worry over the downward trend of volunteerism in the country.
He said people were currently more interested in the benefits they would get when they volunteer, rather than the impact their volunteerism would have on society, forgetting that volunteerism came with many unexpected benefits.
Prof. Awusabo-Asare, who is a volunteer of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), expressed these sentiments during the Volunteer Home Coming of the Cape Coast branch of the association held Cape Coast.
The home coming, aimed at revamping the association brought together some former and current national and local executive members, some veteran volunteers, Population and Health Students of UCC, some members of Young Action Movement (YAM), a subsidiary of PPAG and some prospective volunteers.
Prof. Awusabo-Asare pointed out that throughout his more than 30 years of being a PPAG volunteer , he has gained more than he had given out, because he did not think about the benefit of volunteerism and that volunteerism was not only about donating money but time, technical support and whatever area an individual could offer .
He recounted how the selflessness of some individuals led to the formation of PPAG, and how this same virtue has kept the association running, and called on Ghanaians, especially the youth, to become PPAG volunteers and help propel the agenda of the association which main focus is on the sexual welfare of the youth.
The Immediate Past President of the branch, Mr. Harry Monney, said it has become difficult for groups which did not dish out money to its members to function well due to the current state of the Ghanaian economy and noted that it was the satisfaction some individuals had in helping others that continued to sustain such groups.
He said it was about time society rekindled the spirit of volunteerism, in order to solve the many problems that the youth, the backbone of the society, were facing, adding that though not all members could attend meetings, they should be willing to sacrifice since that was what volunteerism was all about.
The Southern Ghana Zonal Manager of PPAG, Mrs. Nana Amma Oforiwaa Sam, urged Ghanaians to think about what they could do for the association and the society, instead of the opportunities they would get, adding that opportunities, when available were given to deserving members.
She urged volunteers to be regular at PPAG offices in order to equip themselves with current activities of the association.
She also urged members of the branch to make its activities more interesting and relevant in order to sustain the interest of its members especially the new ones.
The Head of UCC Hospital?s Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit, Dr. Seth Adu, indicated that the youth at the Senior High School level needed a lot of help with respect to issues about sexual health because of the cases he handles on a daily basis at the unit.
Dr Adu also a volunteer said little attention was given to such issues, despite its threat on the youth and therefore suggested that viable associations should be formed in the various schools in order to educate them.
Some volunteers, on strategies to maintain volunteers, suggested the use of social media, home visits to aged volunteers, development of database of volunteers, motivation in terms of citation and text messages during birthdays as well as measures to make the association more visible in the society.
A five-member interim committee was formed and tasked to revamp the association, as well as organize a formal election of a substantive executive, body while 18 new volunteers were registered. GNA