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31.01.2005 General News

Fake NGO Exposed!

By Accra Daily Mail

.... dents Ghana`s image abroad .... SFO freezes its assets .... Inmates cry for help There have been complaints by the government of Ghana about the activities of some non-governmental organisations (NGO) who go about tarnishing the image of the country to the outside world.

An archetype of these unpatriotic NGOs is the Children In Need Ghana (CING) situated at Alhaji in Accra. CING, the supposed charity organisation formed by one Mr Ken Amoah, in his bid to amass wealth for himself goes round telling untrue stories about the economic situation in the country.

He is alleged to have taken false pictures and forged stories to beg for financial assistance outside the country.

Mr Amoah and his accomplices abuse the rights of the poor children when they engage them in child labour and make them pose for photos to portray them as destitute to enable him solicit for funds from both local and foreign donors.

Having engaged the labour of these innocent children to construct the house where they call a foster home, with financial assistance from donors, the children have now been sacked from the home.

The orphans amongst them, some as young as nine years, have been left alone to get themselves foster parents. The deprived and exploited children are now appealing to all Ghanaians and the government to assist them.

CING recruited the children from different homes and on the streets to assist them through school.

Before their expulsion from the house, these defenceless children were subjected to brutal treatments. The treatments were so harsh that "we had to work as labourers in order to supplement our school fees. Even though there were donor supports coming in, we had to go outside and beg for food," a former inmate of CING told the ADM.

He said they did that when they were in the primary school but many of them dropped out of school when they got to the Junior Secondary School (JSS) level because of frustration.

"I once painted his father's house in his village to get paid for my school fees," he said.

Currently, these innocent and vulnerable children are seeking refuge with a Good Samaritan in Accra.

Unfortunately, due to the cost involved in running a home with about 20 children as well as the risk involved in playing host to these children without the formal knowledge or approval of any responsible state agency, the new foster parent has threatened to abandon the children if the government does nothing about the situation or assistance is delayed.

He has therefore called on the government to confiscate all assets belonging to CING and hand them over to a new board of directors who would run the home; thereby getting the children back there again.

Due to mismanagement and misappropriation of the organisation's funds by Mr Amoah and an interim board set to run the affairs of the organisation, the Department of Social Welfare has ordered that CING be closed.

It has also recommended that the inmates who are above 18 years be relocated to their parents. The very young ones, however, would be sent to a different organisation.

Even though the organisation has been closed down the Department of Social Welfare has not yet resettled the needy children.

A source at the serious fraud office (SFO) disclosed that investigations conducted into the activities of the organisation have ordered the prosecution of Mr Ken Amoah for misappropriation. As evidence, the SFO has impounded a vehicle and seized a house he purchased from the organisation's account at Gbawe in Accra.

Whilst the SFO reported that the home was constructed with money from donors, Mr Ken Amoah's father told the ADM at his residence that he owns the house but leased it out to his son.

He alleged that the children engaged in several immoral acts when they were in the house.

Some of the children who have been in the orphanage since 1997 when the orphanage was established told the ADM how the orphanage was constructed and the hell they went through in the house under the tutelage of Mr Ken Amoah and his cohorts.

"We saw them trying some juju on us, but when the juju failed to work, they then resorted to physical assault, intimidation and starvation to frustrate us," one of them said. "Some huge-looking well-built men were often hired to harass us and mercilessly beat us for no apparent reason," another said.

Yet another victim said, "we were told that the organisation had very little money so we had to work till about 9am before going to school even though lessons at school start at 8am. For fear of being ejected you would comply unwillingly."

The ADM would bring you more as events unfold.

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