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18.04.2006 Press Release

Beyond the Easter Philanthropy

By Ghanaian Chronicle

The Easter Season saw a lot of philanthropy work by churches, individuals and organizations, to at least temporarily bring relief to the masses of deprived Ghanaians who live in the streets or in orphanages across the country.

This act of caring for the needy comes about obviously because it is around this time that the religious concept of sacrifice, particularly in Christendom, is highlighted.

Even though some of the needy identified around this time are taken care of subsequently, and introduced to vocations and others back to the classrooms, the majority of them are left to their fate and would be there next time round when the philanthropists hit the streets.

We are not in the least suggesting that our philanthropists should shoulder the burden of getting the people they sup with off the streets. It is our belief that after identifying their conditions around this time, including their health needs, the appropriate state institutions, like the social welfare department, would pick up the pieces; their work having been made easier.

There is no doubt that the problem of streetism is getting out of hand, as by the day, we observe many more children of school-going age troop to the streets to eke out a living.

The Chronicle believes that the government's pursuit of its policy of 'Investing in People, Investing in Jobs,' that ran through the 2006 Budget, ought to go beyond the formal educational and vocational institutions and into identifying all Ghanaians, into whom a little investment would transform to become more productive citizens for the land.

Even though it would cost us some considerable amounts to identify and address the needs of these street children, the benefits to be derived from turning them into more productive citizens should motivate us to invest in them.

A lot of them, from all indications, need just counseling and a little professional advice on how to go about doing the little things they do in a bigger way.

The manner in which we find these street children sweating, it out at times in clearly perilous ways, suggests that these are people who have the zeal and are prepared to work, and therefore given a conducive environment, they would contribute to the development of the nation without being a nuisance to road users and endangering their lives.

It is the hope of The Chronicle that the bits and pieces of information gathered by the various philanthropy organizations during the Easter season to enable them carry out works of charity would be given to the appropriate institutions, as there seem not to be a body actively engaged in gathering information of this nature to confront the problems identified