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01.06.2004 General News

International Day for family celebrated

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Koforidua, June 1, GNA - The 10th Anniversary of the International Day of the Family was observed at Koforidua on Tuesday, with a call on Ghanaians to have a shared responsibility to help make the family a unit of development.

The New Juaben Municipality Chief Executive, Nana Adjei Boateng, who made the call stressed that any disorientation from the family must be prevented at all cost, since it would have a negative impact on the socio-economic development of the people.

He described the theme for the celebration, "Stabilising the Family Through Shared Support", as very appropriate, since it sought to draw the attention to the family needs at the individual, institution and government levels.

The celebration was organised by the Ghana National Commission on Children (GNCC) and the New Juaben Municipal Assembly.

Nana Boateng called for the prevention of the current spate of separation and divorce in families, noting that the situation was impacting negatively on government's developmental efforts and leaving in its trail, streetism, drug abuse and other delinquent behaviours. He stressed the need for individuals, parents and society to strictly and religiously apply the virtues of family life in training the youth in order to enhance their chances of good and responsible life in the future.

Nana Boateng regretted that many parents shirked their responsibilities in the sharing of information in a manner that enhanced the development of their family members, especially the youth.

"The time has now come when we must open up to our children and more importantly, to each other as spouses, in order to knit our families together," he said, adding that, "this has become imperative in the face of the threat of HIV/AIDS and other social health related problems."

Nana Boateng, therefore, stressed the need to encourage churches, civil society organisations, government agencies and district assemblies to find places on their programmes to strengthen support to the family as a unit.

The Eastern Regional Coordinator of the GNCC, Mr Anthony Dontoh, explained that the celebration was to educate the public on family issues, identify specific factors that contribute to destabilise the family and identify multi-disciplinary measures to address them. He noted that "a healthy and well-developed children represent a stable and vital family, they represent hope and promise, because they represent change", pointing out that "the best investment we can make for a totally transformed nation is the project of bringing up our children."

Mr Dontoh called on men to assist their woman counterparts to share fully in the protection, health and growth of their children, since the burden of children was too much for women alone to bear. Mr Seth Oduro Boateng, a former Regional Co-ordination of GNCC, advocated that parents who wilfully refused to send their children to school or provide their children's basic educational needs must be sanctioned, including prosecution.

He called on the Ghana Education Service and the district assemblies to ensure that schooling was accessible to all children and that basic education was made affordable for all families Mr Boateng urged the media organisations to play a key role in creating awareness about the plight of children and families and the challenges facing them.

Mrs Felicia Duku, New Juaben Municipal Director of Education, hailed the extended family system and called for its sustainability for families to be each other's keeper.

She appealed to philanthropists to give assistance to street children in order to save them from the menace of armed robbers. June 1, 04

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