Children, our heritage, our future
Children are gifts from God and a means of protecting and preserving our heritage.
Without children, the world would have come to an end as there would have been no way to sustain human race.
Many people, who are desirous of having children, go to all lengths to experience that joy, yet there are others who behave and treat children as if they were loaves of bread, easy to pick up from the baker’s shelf.
Though it is not in the children’s interest to over-pamper them, there is every reason for them to be treated with love, given the utmost care, education, and the opportunity to grow and develop themselves to take over from present day adults as managers of homes and leaders of the nation in the future.
There is absolutely nothing wrong in asking our children to help us from time to time in either our household chores or in the work we do.
Anyone, who grew up in the villages or rural communities, cannot deny the fact that from time to time, they were asked to help out on the farm or help their mothers to sell in the market.
That could not be labelled as child labour.
After all, that was one of the ways that helped instilled a sense of hard work in most of the adults of today.
That practice still exists but in recent times, the economic hardships faced by parents and guardians as well as child abandonment have created a situation where children are competing with adults in the world of work.
It is a common sight to see children, who, instead of being in school, engage in all kinds of back-breaking work during school hours in the name of earning something for their parents, their guardians or for their own upkeep.
Children, as young as six years, are seen in traffic risking their lives to sell all kinds of items like plantain chips, iced water, sweets and whatever they have to sell from morning till dusk.
Children are made to work at the quarries, doing jobs considered dangerous for even adults.
They are sent to catch fish and are thus exposed to all the dangers on the seas, lakes and rivers.
They also serve as farmhands.
As if that is not enough, most of them are starved and physically abused.
Others are made to undertake hazardous jobs and end up with life-long injuries or health problems.
It is heart-breaking to recount some of the stories these children narrate to the world, anytime they have the opportunity to do so.
There have been efforts to curb the incidents of child neglect or abuse, but it looks like more has to be done, if the battle is to be won.
Even in the nation’s capital, Accra, there are still some children herdsmen, who are left to take care of herds of cattle at the peril of their lives.
No wonder the United Nations has set aside November 20, each year, as Universal Children’s Day “to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare.”
This year’s celebration is on the theme: “For every child, every right.”
The theme reminds us all – the government, parents, guardians, everyone and corporate organisations- that together, we can contribute to the attainment of the rights of children.
The Daily Graphic believes parents, guardians, families and the nation ought to equip our children and those placed in our care with the best education so that they can take up the mantle to maintain our enviable heritage.
It is said that all things being equal, a parent who invests in the well-being of his children, grows to enjoy his old age.
Children are indeed the future of our society, but they can only be effective and successful leaders when they are given the right foundation.
The Daily Graphic thinks that it is an individual’s responsibility, as a parent, and collectively as a community and a nation, to provide the right condition and atmosphere for our children to grow to become responsible adults.