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17.06.2005 Regional News

Ministry donates TV to correctional home

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Accra, June 17, GNA - The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) on Friday presented a 21-inch colour television set to the Boys and Girls Correctional and Probation Home in Accra to fulfil a promise it made last month. Making the presentation, Ms Marilyn Annan, Director in Charge of Children's Affairs at the Ministry, said the television was to help the children to benefit from the long distance education programme ran on

Ghana Television. "As you are here you do not see what goes on in the outside world... there are many programmes on the television, some of them would not help you ... remember to watch only the educative ones." The Centre, the Director said, was one of the institutions under the Social Welfare Department that was most deprived.

Ms Annan said while Hajia Alima Mahama, the Sector Minister, was on a familiarisation tour last month, she met and interacted with the inmates and they appealed to her to give them a television set. She advised the children to see it as a privilege to be in the Home as other children, who found themselves in the same situations were either maltreated by relatives or ended up on the street.

Ms Annan told them not to see their stay at the Home as a form of punishment but rather a place to reform, as they were receiving education and training. She asked them to forget whatever offence they committed that brought them to the Home and be ready to change and start afresh because they were young and had a future ahead of them.

Ms Victoria Natsu, Head of the Centre, who received the television, commended the Minister for taking the request of the children to heart despite the numerous demands on the Ministry. She said the Centre, which currently housed 19 children at the Junior Girls' Correction Centre; 16 in the Junior Boys' Correction Centre and seven at the Shelter for Abused Children depended largely on donations from churches and nongovernmental organisations. "But for the donations life would have been hell for these children, who have virtually been abandoned here by their parents." She appealed to the parents of the inmates to make it a habit to visit their children to find out how they were doing as they would in future return to them after they reformed. The Centre has a staff of nine and apart from classroom lesson it trains the inmates in hairdressing, pastry, dress, batik and tie and dye making.