Do not neglect abused children – Child Advocate

Accra, – Oheneyere Gifty Anti, a Journalist and Women and Children’s Right Advocate has called on the citizenry to support abused and neglected children, and fight for their wellbeing to ensure positive outcomes from them.


“The sad thing about the abused is that if they do not get help they never forget, it lives with them forever, children do not grow out of abuse, they grow with it and it destroys them.


She made the call during the launch of Standing Together Against Child Abuse and Neglect (STACAN), a non-profit organisation based in Ghana and the United Kingdom (UK) ,on the theme: Promoting the wellbeing of children: Preventing Abuse and Neglect.


According to her, parents needed psychological and psychiatric help and needed to work on themselves to be able to tackle child abuse and neglect.


She said most parents in the process of raising children broke and abused them psychologically, physically and emotionally as they transferred their frustrations onto them because they were broken and abused as well.


Gifty Anti said parents and the citizenry had become selfish and interested in amassing wealth and unhealthy competition among themselves to show off and search for fame, and consequently neglected their children.


She said there were young people who felt neglected and abused by the elderly hence filled with bitterness and were perceived to be disrespectful, grow up and get into institutions and become abusive but she attributed that to the way they had been treated.


“The children we are neglecting and abusing today would be in charge when we have grown old, what kind of treatment we expect from them?”


Mrs Elsie Owusu- Kumi, Founder of STACAN and a Child Protection Social Worker based in the UK called for the prioritizing of issues relating to the welfare of children.


She appealed to the Government to invest in services concerning children including the scrapping of the medical examination fees for children who had been sexually abused.


Mrs Owusu-Kumi said Government must provide tailored interventions such as free therapy and counselling services for the abused children.


She said it was important to have a more robust child protection system in the country where children suffering abuse and neglect were safeguarded in a timely intervention.


“We equally acknowledge that when it comes to safeguarding children, we each have a role to play.


That is why the Children’s Act 1989 makes it clear that safeguarding children is everybody’s responsibility,” she said.


Mr Elvis Bawa Sadongo, Divisional Motor Traffic and Transport Directorate (MTTD) Commander, Kaneshie, advised that children to be taught about body ownership and how to disclose perpetrators of abuse.


He said interventions from institutions must be swift and that victims of abuse must not be blamed to prevent them from opening up adding that abused children did not need lawyers since the state would provide them with one for free.


According to him, the law prohibited disclosing the identity of an abused child therefore he appealed to the media to protect the identities and dignities of the victims to prevent public ridicule.


Mr Sadongo condemned the system induced trauma, where victims were further abused by institutions when they sought for help and intervention.


Every other secondary trauma they experienced from the first one is more hurting and more destructive than the first one that a survivor had experienced, he said.


STACAN seeks to educate and empower by creating awareness on child abuse and neglect, and equipping parents, professionals and individuals involved in the provision of care to children with the required skills and knowledge.


Its work is guided by key legislations and human rights treaties such as the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) committed to the best interests of the child, and sets out rights that must be realised for children to develop their full potential.


Source: Ghana News Agency

PEPFAR Campaign on “U equals U” held in Aboadze

Aboadze(WR), – The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) under the auspices of US Embassy has organized a HIV Anti-Stigma Campaign to create awareness about the pandemic in the Aboadze Community in the Shama District of the Western Region.


The programme was under the theme ’’Reaching Epidemic Control by 2030’,’ which was heralded by a drama display by Aboadze Islamic ‘’B’’ Basic School to sensitize the general public to abstain from subjecting persons living with HIV and AIDS into ridicule.


The programme was organised in collaboration with “Twin City Energy” operating under the trade name Amandi Energy Limited.


Mr. Joshva Ravi Kumar, the Facility Manager of Twin City Energy said, his company has consolidated the partnership with the US Embassy to implement an HIV Anti- Stigma programme in Aboadze to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world.


He said PEPFAR remains the world’s greatest investor in the Global Fund with the aim at touching lives and achieving epidemic control by 2030, adding that, the information, experience and interactions with the HIV Ambassadors in attendance would positively impact the participants and leave memorable legacies along.


He said through the campaign, people would have reasons to desist from stigmatising persons who may test positive for HIV and share with them attitudes that make stigma and discrimination criminal.


He encouraged the leaders and members of the community, particularly the youth to be actively involved as HIV was still in existence and even more devastating was the stigma that comes with it.


Mr Kumar said the joint HIV /AIDS Campaign served as their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the people of Aboadze.


Madam Dzid Enyonam Kwame, Media Specialist for United State Embassy’s PEPFAR, said the focused activities of PEPFAR in the Western Region was to educate the people, especially students to appreciate the importance to protect themselves from acquiring the disease and called on all to stop stigmatising and discriminating against persons who have tested positive for HIV/AIDS.


She said when persons with HIV AIDs are appreciated it would go a long way to stop discrimination and stigmatising against them, and this would also help enhance their life span.


Madam Kwame said the HIV Anti-Stigma Campaign and the Undetectable equal to Untransmitable (U=U) Campaign was an initiative started in 2003 by the then President George W. Bush.


The campaign encouraged 95 percent of people to get tested and put on medication for treatment to get their viral load suppressed.


Madam Kwame stressed that HIV/ADIS did not have cure or vaccine but there were life-saving drugs which help people to live longer, adding that, after taking the drugs for some time the virus in the system would be undetectable and once it is undetectable they cannot be transmitted to another person.


She expressed concern that stigmatization and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS have derailed the efforts to achieve the UNAIDS Goal 90-90-90, and warned that it was criminal to stigmatise and discriminate against persons living with HIV/AIDS.


One Reverend Azumah and Mrs. Charity Owusu Baylor, both HIV/AIDS ambassadors recounted their ordeal as HIV/AIDS patients saying that, “when you cohabitate and eat with your neighbour the disease cannot be transmitted to the person since it is not contagious”.


The two urged the public, especially the youth to be bold and get tested to know their status, to save them from getting the disease.


They also appealed to the chief and DCE as well as the Assembly members of the area to enact bye- laws to protect people living with HIV/AIDS to assist them to lead normal lives.


Nana Kobina Attom III, the chief of Aboadze and Mrs Efua Amoakoah Quansah, the District Director of Education, Shama Education Directorate thanked the Twin City Energy and US Embassy for organising such an important programme.


Mr. Joseph Amoah, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Shama District said about 3 percent of the entire population of the country were HIV infected and that such people do not know they were carriers of the virus.


The DCE therefore called on people to adhere to preventable measures which included, abstinence, use of condoms, faithfulness to partners, personal care and minimising of blood transfusion.


Mr. Amoah said HIV related stigma and discrimination have adverse effect on the general life of people living with the virus as well as their families.


He reminded the people that they all have roles to fight the menace of HIV/AIDS and urged the various leaders to empower people to understand the mode of transmission and preventive measures.


Source: Ghana News Agency


About 600 people receive food aid at Nakpanduri

Nakpanduri (NE/R), – About 600 people comprising persons with disabilities, the poor and needy, orphans and widows in the Bunkpurugu-Nakpanduri District have each been given a bag of maize to supplement their food requirements.


The 25 kg bag of maize support for each of the beneficiaries from the Bimoba, Konkomba, Fulani, Muslim, and Christian communities in the district in the North East Region became necessary as a result of food shortages being experienced in the area forcing some families to starve.


The food aid to the members of the communities was donated by Yennutoona Foundation, an organisation established by Mr Konlan Nanleeb, a native of the area, and his wife and children, which work to feed the poor and needy in the district.


During this period of each year, foods stored by the largest farming communities in the district get exhausted and families have to wait for their crops to mature to get food hence the intervention by the Yennutoona Foundation to alleviate hunger in the area.


The Yennutoona Foundation has been presenting food aid to the poor and needy in the area during this critical period for the past 41 years, and this year’s support also came with quantities of used clothes, footwear amongst others beneficiaries.


Mr Konlan Nanleeb, General Director of Yennutoona Foundation, flanked by his wife and a son, and some prominent members of the area to present the sacks of maize to the beneficiaries at a ceremony at Konchian Gberuk, a community in the district, was happy that the support would help alleviate hunger in some homes during these hard times.


He used the opportunity to emphasise the need for the people of the district, which used to be a conflict-prone area, to remain united, peaceful, and love their neighbours for the development of the area.


He said “We have been giving out to the poor for the past 41 years. Some people sleep hungry in the Bimoba area here.


So, all the maize is from my farm. I do farming a lot and this particular time of every year, we bring food for persons with disabilities, the needy, orphans, and widows who need food but this year and last year were so special because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Due to COVID-19, things did not go well for our people around this area because people could not go to the farm and the economy was down completely.”


Mr Nanleeb spoke about other interventions of the Yennutoona Foundation saying “We also bring women together and finance them to farm cashew, soybeans, maize, groundnut and also encourage them to plant trees.


So, as we stand here today, our women organisations that we support have planted over 1.1 million trees; cashew, shea nut, and dawadawa to help fight global warming as well as ensure livelihood for them.”


He said the Foundation also taught women best agronomic practices such as not using weedicides but rather organic materials such as manure and compost to make the land more fertile as well as plant trees along banks of rivers in the area adding “Due to this, we now have water in the rivers where animals drink and we now have trees growing.”


He said, “We are also introducing wildlife back to the communities and the people have received the wildlife and they are rearing them to be released into the wild.”


Mr Nanleeb expressed gratitude to especially chiefs in the area for helping to stop bush fires which were helpful to the community as new trees were now growing, saying “As we have introduced best agronomic farming practices to the women organisations, they now gain more yields to feed themselves.”


Naba Davik Kansuk, Paramount Chief of Nakpanduri described the intervention as excellent, saying it had come at the right time to support the food needs of the people.


Naba Kansuk advised the people to live in harmony and be one another’s keeper emphasising that they should desist from fighting, adding “Konkombas, Bimobas and Mamprusis are one. No more fight.”


He called on all to support the Yennutoona Foundation to continue to reach out to the poor and needy, especially in critical times when there were food shortages in the communities.


Mambora Banimbia, a beneficiary from Binde in the district, said “At this time, there is no food in this area. When we farm, we do not get enough yields because of the poor fertility level of the soil.”


She added that “So, we do not know how to cope until we harvest our crops. So, this food donation to us has come at the right time because it will sustain us for days.”


Source: Ghana News Agency


Vodafone Foundation honours 2021 top talents to mark Nelson Mandela Day

Accra, – The Vodafone Ghana Foundation has celebrated the efforts of some young talented Ghanaians to mark the World Youth Skills Awareness and Nelson Mandela Day.


The programme, held in Accra, aimed at creating an avenue for the youth to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Arts to aid in their development and prepare them for the world of work.


The World Youth Skills Awareness Day was designated by the United Nations (UN) to equip young people across the globe with the central skills for employment, work and entrepreneurship.


The UN General Assembly, in November 2009, declared July 18 “Nelson Mandela International Day” to recognise the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.


Madam Grace Jeanet Mason, the South African High Commissioner, urged the youth to identify their purpose and work relentlessly towards it.


“You are destined to be great, however, it takes perseverance to get there”, she said.


Madam Mason told them education was the best weapon they could use as youngsters to excel and encouraged them to be studios for great leaders in future.


Citing former President Mandela, she admonished them to embrace the spirit of peace and reconciliation.


She said it was needful to pursue one’s dreams despite any challenge, adding, ‘There’s nothing wrong in losing, because you have to lose to win. Don’t be afraid of losing”.


Madam Mason lauded their innovativeness and encouraged them to use their skills to inspire and empower others.


Reverend Amaris Nana Adjei Perbi, Head of Vodafone Ghana Foundation said the programme would serve as an opportunity for young people to impact the society positively and also teach others to emulate them.


He said such talents should be encouraged, adding that, “It is an exceptional feat that the Foundation has chalked”.


Madam Geta Striggner-Quartey, Director of Legal and External Affairs, Vodafone Ghana, said the Foundation took keen interest in impacting lives and encouraged the youngsters to learn new skills to take up opportunities presented to them.


She urged those with interest in Arts to endeavour to master their works in order to put themselves and Ghana on the globe.


“The creatives are already in play and it’s your time as well”, she said.


Madam Striggner-Quartey said everyone had the ability and responsibility to change the world for the better and encouraged all to take action and inspire change.


Samuel Aboagye, a student of Aggrey Road Junior High School who was crowned the 2021 top talent expressed gratitude to his motivators and supporters and the Vodafone Ghana Foundation for offering him the platform to display his talent.


The 16-year-old emerged winner among 20 competitors with inventions which included; a bluetooth speaker, water dispenser and a hoover, all made from waste materials.


He was awarded a brand new laptop and a Vodafone Mi-Fi.


Source: Ghana News Agency

About 90 per cent of road accidents avoidable – Tema MTTD

Tema, – The Tema Police Command of the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service has stated that about 90 to 95 per cent of road accidents that occur in the country are avoidable.


Sergeant Richard Timinka of the MTTD noted that all it takes for road users to prevent road accidents is to abide by the regulations, rules, or codes that govern driving.


Sgt Timinka representing the Regional Commander of the MTTD – Ghana Police Service stated at the Ghana News Agency at Tema and MTTD road safety campaign platform.


The GNA and MTTD Road Safety Project seek to actively create consistent and systematic weekly awareness advocacy on the need to be cautious on the road as users, educate all road users of their respective responsibilities, and sensitize drivers on road safety regulations.


According to him, the regulations such as the highway code, road act, and road traffic regulations, took care of whatever happens on the road and when abided by, accidents will be reduced drastically.


Sgt. Timinka explained that generally there are four types of accidents but the system in Ghana recognizes three, which are fatal, serious, and minor accidents.


He said fatal accidents involved death regardless of the number of lives lost, serious accidents involved injury where the victim or victims spent more than 24 hours at the hospital whereas minor accidents occurred with injuries where victims spent less than 24 hours at the hospital before being discharged.


Mr Francis Ameyibor, Tema GNA Regional Manager, noted that road safety was a shared responsibility and Ghanaians should be concerned about whatever happened on the road.


He said, “no single individual can say that he or she does not use the road, we are all road users, either as a passenger, drivers or pedestrians, cyclists or motor riders”.


He said the actions or inactions of people on the road could cause an accident which could affect the individual or other people.


Mr Ameyibor mentioned that the impact of road accidents was severe stating that apart from death and injuries, it had financial implications.


He said “for instance where the breadwinner is incapacitated, the entire family’s livelihood is gone although the person survived the accident.


Mr Ameyibor urged Ghanaians to help fight the carnage on our roads. “Let us stop road accidents and let us join forces to fight for safer roads”.


Source: Ghana News Agency


Ajoa Yeboah-Afari receives Millennium Excellence Award for Journalism and Media Personality

Kumasi, – The Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF) has conferred on Madam Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, former President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the coveted ‘Millennium Excellence Award for Journalism and Media Personality’, in Kumasi.


This was in recognition of her long commitment to national development for over three decades.


“You are a proud daughter of the soil who is renowned for her principled stance on social justice and democratic governance and have used your profession for promoting same.


“You have lived most of your life standing against injustices and human rights abuses; a course you pursue as an author and columnist on different platforms,” a citation in her honour read.


The former GJA President was lauded for her display of courage on sensitive national issues, which the MEF said was a definition of class statesmanship and patriotism in nation-building.


“No wonder you won the one and only John Kogblenu Award for Valour from the GJA, and also given special mention in the 2004 National Reconciliation Commission Report for taking a bold stance in condemning the 1979 executions and other human rights violations,” the citation noted.


“As a journalist and author whose creative writings continue to excite both young and old minds alike on many social and democratic issues, you stand tall on our radar to receive this award,” the MEF observed.


The Awards, which is organized once every five years, is reserved for individuals and organizations with the highest positive impact on humanity rather than just personal achievements.


The MEF’s laureates are people who have enhanced the wellbeing of their community or nation in a significant way either in the course of their jobs or lives.


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in an address, lauded the award winners for their unwavering commitment to the pursuit of their goals.


“The Foundation understands that neither these glass mementos they take home today nor the panache of this event is commensurate with the honour the laureates deserve.


“But by recognizing them here today, we all ought to be reminded that no goal is beyond our reach if our determination to succeed is relentless,” the President stated.


He observed that Africans benefiting from their resources would require selfless leadership, peace, stability and the extrication of “our subjugated minds to stand up and reach for greater heights.”


President Akufo-Addo commended the event organizers for the noble cause, saying “true heroes live by example and put integrity before personal gain by doing the right thing when nobody is watching.”


Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, said the MEF with the advent of the Awards, was playing a positive role in promoting the quest for high achievements at all levels of the society.


“The Foundation is helping to inspire new generations to strive harder for excellence. That, without that, is worthy of every effort,” the king remarked.


The programme saw a cross-section of individuals of varied professional backgrounds receiving awards for distinguishing themselves in their fields of endeavour.


Source: Ghana News Agency


Woman, 64, allegedly ‘pounds’ her centenarian husband to his death

Wamfie, (B/R), – A misunderstanding between an elderly couple has ended in tragedy in the farming community of Kyenkyenase, in the Dormaa East District of the Bono Region.


During a quarrel on Wednesday, July 15, Nyamba Ayenliwuli, 64, allegedly picked a pestle and hit her 100-year old husband, Aponwuni Ayenliwuli, leaving him in a state of unconsciousness.


He later died on arrival at the Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital, and his body has since been deposited at the Hospital’s morgue for autopsy.


Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Frank Asante, the Dormaa East District Police Commander, confirmed the story to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in a telephone interview, saying the incident happened around 0900 hours.


He said the Police received a distress call and rushed to the community where the suspect was arrested, adding she had since been placed in custody to be arraigned for trial on Monday, July 28.


The incident reportedly threw the community into a state of shock and disbelief, with many wondering what could have unsettled an otherwise peaceful relationship.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Fitting shops, Commercial buildings must be insured – Insurance Commissioner

Accra, – Dr Justice Yaw Ofori, Commissioner of Insurance has urged garage owners including the local fitting shops to endeavor to insure their premises.


He said even though motor insurance was compulsory in Ghana, most of the insurance on vehicles did not cover taking car to a garage or a mechanic.


Dr Ofori therefore urged vehicle owners to ensure that garages and fitting shops they patronize were insured to cover their cars should there be any incident.


He made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency saying such regulations were spelt out in the Insurance Act 2021 (Act 1061) and garages having insurance demonstrated professionalism.


Dr Ofori said the National Insurance Commission was working on developing a claim software, where frequent accident vehicles would be identified to inform the insurance companies on their level of risk.


“Having a claim software will also be a deterrent to bad driving since those who claim insurance compensations frequently will be noted as high risk.”


The National Insurance Commission is also encouraging commercial buildings and commercial buildings under construction to insure their premises, Dr Ofori said, pointing out that soon the Commission will enforce that aspect of the Insurance Act.


He said the NIC will soon issue certificates of insurance to commercial buildings and commercial buildings under construction.


Dr Ofori said one other compulsory insurance which many Ghanaians do not pay attention to, was the buying of fire insurance, saying fire insurance usually covered policyholders against fire loss or damage from a number of sources.


He expressed the Commission’s readiness to continuously engage stakeholders and undertake public education to sensitize people on the benefits of insurance.


“Insurance is a pool where everybody puts in money to take care of the unfortunate few” he added.


Source: Ghana News Agency