THOUGH IT was a St. Valentine's Day February 14, 2009, the students of the Bolgatanga Technical Institute (BOTECH) sacrificed all the pleasures that go with the celebration, and attended a motivational conference.
The conference, organised by Building Greatness, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), was aimed at curbing immorality among students, and inspiring them to acquire academic laurels.
In his welcoming speech, the Director and Founder of Building Greatness, Mr. Albert Achari, said the society was poisoned with so much evil that people sometimes ask, should the society be all rosy or bloody? Should it all be joy or sadness? Or should it be eventful and aspiring or moody and gloomy?
He asserted that in the midst of this dilemma, it was quite certain that when 'we leave important things undone, we specialise as unimportant persons,' adding that a nation is important when it accomplishes important goals.
Describing the HIV/AIDS as a global disaster, Mr. Achari said there was no point in people looking on, and attending funerals of HIV/AIDS victims and blaming it on an evil society, but they should take it upon themselves to find solutions to the problems.
He bemoaned the ascendancy of armed robbery, alcoholism, and drug addiction in the country, especially among the youth, and lamented that evil had gained grounds in the lives of the youth, with the increasing cases of insanity, drunkenness and child delinquency.
Combining some quotations of great motivational speakers with his, Mr. Achari said, “Evil unchecked grows; evil tolerated poisons the whole system,” (Jawaharlal Nehru), “a nation is developed fast and quickest by building individuals with high moral standards and right mental focus,” and “society is not evil, unless we allow evil into it.”
According to him, the main objective of his organisation was to build great people, by creating success and moral integrity in their lives. It does this through teaching discipline, integrity, how to get better grades.
He said his outfit had so far taught in over 50 different schools across the country, including the Upper West, Northern, and Ashanti regions.
Mr. Achari appealed to government and all stakeholders, to join hands in building great people for a better Ghana. He identified insufficient funds as the major problem facing his organisation, hoping that assistance would some day come his way for the NGO.
The over 130 students, who attended the conference, were full of praises for the organisers.
Speaking on the topic; “Breaking the wrong habit,” Pastor Takal Modecai, told the students that the person who cannot break from an evil habit, usually gets broken by that habit. He said the best way to break from an evil habit, is never to start it.
He said the bitter part of a habit is that it has the tenacity to hold its victim to a tragic end; those who drink find it difficult to stop, those who smoke go out to beg when they run short, and those who eat all the time find it difficult to fast.
Pastor Takal advised the students not to harbour bitterness, worries and unforgiveness whenever they were troubled, because this could worsen their problems, give them hypertension and heart complications.
The Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Health Services, Dr. Koku Awoonor-Williams, said it was estimated that over 500,000 Ghanaians had HIV, but showed no signs of the sickness yet, and cumulatively in the region, 6,000 people were infected.
He was categorical that the problem facing the youth today was the imposition of the western culture, which the youth believed made them acceptable to their peer groups.
Dr. Awoonor-Williams condemned the wearing of provocative dresses by girls, which exposed parts of their bodies, and drinking and smoking by boys.