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26.11.2008 Regional News

Dutch NGO opens its Ghana headquarters in Wa

By GNA

Mr. Michael Bierkens, the Deputy Netherlands Ambassador in Ghana, has opened the Ghana headquarters of Child Support, a Dutch non-governmental organization, in Wa.

The NGO is engaged in some child-centred activities in the Upper West Region aimed at stopping migration of young girls to Kumasi and Accra to do street hawking.

Child Support is giving these girls training in vocational skills after which they would be supported to start their own businesses.

The NGO has also established a hospice at Danku in the Wa Municipality where volunteers have been recruited from Holland to give comfort and counselling to women who are HIV positive.

Mr. Bierkens said the Dutch government had been supporting the Ghana government with 25 million Ghana cedis annually to support its health programmes and as a result the embassy no longer gives funds to execute micro projects.

He commended the Dutch volunteers working in the region for their role in promoting child development activities and suggested to Child Support not to undertake so many activities that it could not manage properly.

Mr. David Yakubu, Upper West Regional Coordinating Director, said although strides had been made in providing facilities for the development of children in the three Northern regions, some of these facilities were not affordable to the average person and therefore welcomed the interventions of NGOs.

Issues of education and health of children, he said, were critical and to neglect them early in their life would spell doom for the future development of the country

Reverend Dan Seidu, a Director of Child Support- Ghana, said out of the 80 HIV positive young women who were admitted at the hospice, 20 of them had died.

He said the conditions of some of them had improved through the use of retroviral drugs and they had rejoined their families.

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