September 1, 2022 8:03 am

A community durbar to climax the 2022 National Children’s Day (NCD) was held on Wednesday, 31st August, 2022 in Diaso in the Central Region under the theme: “The Role of the Community in Eliminating Harmful Practices”

It was organized by the Department of Children under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) with support from UNICEF-Ghana, World Vision Ghana, GACA, Plan International Ghana and the Human Trafficking Fund.

The theme for the celebration emphasized on the need for all stakeholders to recognize their roles in eradicating harmful practices that target children across the nation.

It was also to draw the attention of stakeholders and the public to the slow pace of information, transformation, limited access as well as limited child participation in Ghana, and to push for more effort and resource investment into the sector to improve the situation.

The NCD was established on 31st August, 1979 as a centerpiece of Government’s efforts to advance the welfare of the country’s children as well as promote the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In a keynote address delivered on behalf of the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources/Caretaker Minister for MoGCSP, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Ag. Director for the Department of Children, Mrs. Florence Ayisi Quartey intimated that the goal for celebrating the day was to brainstorm and also sensitize community members on ways to eliminate harmful practices against children in order to maximize their chances of growth, survival, protection and increased participation.

According to her, child marriage remains one of the most harmful practices against children because of its multi-dimensional impact.

“Relevant data from both UNICEF and World Vision indicate that in Ghana, 1 out of every 5 girls are married before their 18th birthday and 21% of girls between 20-24 years married as teens”. she said.

She charge all and sundry to collaborate in order to help end harmful practices against children.

The Ag. Director disclosed that, the Ministry in partnership with UNICEF, Ghana Education Service and Ghana Health Service launched the ” I WILL” campaign to promote quality caregiving practices for children 0-8 with the aim of promoting an integrated approach to ensure that all children (0-8 years) especially the most vulnerable, survive, thrive and develop their maximum potentials.

Mrs. Florence Ayisi Quartey made a passionate appeal to all parents to give the utmost care and support in ensuring children are well cared for.

The Upper Denkyira District Chief Executive, Hon. Richmond Kodua thanked World Vision for their immense support and contribution towards the development of children in the District.

Madam Joyce Odame, a representative from UNICEF-GHANA commended the Government of Ghana for demonstrating a consistent commitment towards the celebration of National Children’s Day for the past 43 years. This she said provided an exceptional occasion for stakeholders to reflect on key issues affecting children in Ghana.

She reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to work with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to strengthen communities to effectively play their roles in creating safe and protective communities, schools and families for all children in Ghana.

The Cluster Manager for World Vision, Mr. Ivan Aboagye stressed that the organization will continue to provide a safe and healthy environment, where children are given the protection they need to develop and flourish in order to realize their hopes and dreams.

Pupils present petitioned the leadership of the Ministry to empower state and community structures to safeguard children against harmful practices and also ensure that all children especially girls are empowered through knowledge and access to sexual and reproductive health services so they can make informed decisions.

Source: MoGCSP