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20.10.2008 Social News

MOWAC to assist prostitutes

By gna

The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) is to assist prostitutes with alternative livelihoods.

This followed a Ghana News Agency (GNA) publication which brought to light the willingness of some prostitutes who operate within the Accra Metropolis to quit the age-old “profession”.

Mr. Valentine Kuuzume, Chief Director of MOWAC, told the GNA in an interview that four prostitutes and their children who currently stay with the Reverend Godson King Akpalu, General Overseer of the Goodnews Evangelical Mission International (GONEMI), the church which shared the word of God with them before they repented, would undergo counselling, need assessment and thereafter be given some micro credit to support their areas of interest.

He said other former drug addicts and armed robbers who were also with the church would also be supported with loans to help them earn a decent living after going through counselling and need assessment.

Mr. Kuuzume commended the church for the initiative taken to complement government's efforts by helping make better people out of commercial sex workers and other social misfits and expressed MOWAC's interest to work with the church.

He said the Ministry would organize a bigger forum where all stakeholders would be invited to find a lasting solution to the problems of prostitution, among others.

The meeting which would be held in about a month's time would have representatives from the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and other women's rights protection agencies, among others.

He said the request for a rehabilitation centre was a future project as the bigger forum would discuss it, but added that these came with their own challenges as some of the inmates could be stigmatized and discriminated against.

Mr. Kuuzume appealed to GONEMI to collaborate with other churches, faith-based organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to continue with the good work.

Earlier at a meeting with representatives of the Church and the ministry, Rev. Akpalu said GONEMI has a special calling to reach out to people such as prostitutes, armed robbers and drug addicts to transform them to become useful beings to themselves and society.

He expressed regret that despite their efforts to go into the ghettos and “reach out to our unfortunate brothers and sisters, we do not have enough resources to accommodate and rehabilitate them”.

He said this militated against their efforts to bring them out totally from their past lives as most of them went back to the ghettos.

Rev. Akpalu therefore appealed to the Ministry to complement the church's effort by establishing a rehabilitation centre for them. This centre, he explained, would afford them to reach out to a larger number of people who they would be in constant touch with.

He noted that only four out of the over 225 prostitutes who expressed their willingness to stop their trade during their mission week celebration were with the pastor while the rest had gone back.