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04.03.2006 General News

Compassion International launches country office

By GNA

Accra, March 4, GNA - The Minister of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC), Hajia Alima Mahama on Saturday called on all stakeholders to help to fight against child abuse in the country.

She said the current rate of child abuse needed urgent action to help to alleviate the suffering and pain of innocent children, who get sexually abused, battered and sold into slavery.

Hajia Mahama, made the call in a speech read by Ms Elisabeth Obeng Yeboah of MOWAC at the official launching of Compassion Ghana, a local branch of Compassion International, an international nongovernmental organisation (NGO) that provides for needy children.

She called for a collaborative effort in tackling issues of poverty which often resulted in child abuse.

The Minister mentioned that the Ministry was working tirelessly to ensure that the rights of women and children were respected and also to open doors for women to enhance their financial status to enable them to support their families.

She commended Compassion International for their initiative and pledged the support of the Ministry in its efforts to provide better opportunities and future for Ghanaian children.

Mrs Jemima Amanor, Country Director, Compassion International, Ghana said the Organisation first registered with the Government in July 2004.

"We have managed to secure an office at North Ridge from where we operate," she said.

She said it had since then formed partnerships with some local churches through which they executed their programmes and projects for needy children.

She also explained that the churches were mandated to select 50 per cent of the children in need from within their churches and another 50 per cent from various communities for sponsorship programmes. Mrs Amanor stated that the organisation would by June 2006 register a total of 2,500 needy children for sponsorships.

She called for societal support to ensure the sustenance of the Project and to help to bring hope to the hopeless.

Dr Wess Stafford, President, Compassion International, explained that the organisation had been in operation since 1952 and had touched the lives of more than 700,000 children through scholarships and other services in various countries worldwide.

As the largest Christian Child development organisation worldwide, it has more than 65 denominations and thousands of local church partners in 24 countries in Africa, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.

Dr Stafford said it is believed that development started from the stomach and, therefore, children in need were provided with food ration, apart from other educational, recreational and religious opportunities. He commended the Ghana chapter for the good start and urged them to work harder in order to reach greater numbers of children, who needed such services.

He said children as assets of God needed to be released from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty to enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults.

"It is, therefore, the aim and objective of Compassion International to bring hope to all children and to ensure that they became responsible adults in the future. He called on all partners of the Project to have patience and compassion for children in order to give them a chance to develop their God given potentials. 4 March 06

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