June 19, 2020 12:58 pm

The Department of Children on behalf of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has successfully organised a two days training programme for Traditional and Religious Leaders on COVID 19 and Child protection in partnership with UNICEF, the Department of Community Development and Obaapa Foundation through the GACA Campaign in the Oti and Volta Region from 18th and 19th June, 2020.

Religious and traditional leaders who are known to have great moral authority and legitimacy within the communities where they work and live were brought together to deliberate on how they can support families to understand the impact of social distancing measures on children’s well-being and raise awareness of concrete strategies to overcome the negative consequences for children.

The Religious and traditional leaders enjoy trust and have the influences in their communities because they make sure not to hold in-person gatherings and services during the time of physical distancing and home confinement.

They were assured of government’s constant collaboration in contributing to the safety and good health of the society by keeping watch and ensuring that rules are obeyed in every community. The leaders were also made aware that their positive influence can also help protect the most vulnerable communities and children.

The impacts of COVID-19 on the protection of children cannot be overemphasized due to its potential to disrupt the environments in which children grow and develop. This results in disruptions to families, daily routines and the wider community and can have negative consequences on children’s well-being, development and protection.

The Traditional and Religious Leaders can be vital assets in the effort to implement measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their communities’ whiles promoting child protection messages in this era of the pandemic.

The Ghanaian Against Child Abuse (GACA) campaign is a social drive support that seeks the reduction of violence against children and adolescents, including harmful traditional practices. It also aims at promoting the wellbeing of children; Prevent abuse and Protect children and adolescents from harm.

Present at the training programme was the Ag. Director for the Department, Mrs. Florence Ayisi Quartey and some key staff from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Source: MoGCSP