Orphanages asked to register with assemblies

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Nana Oye Lithur (right) interacting with the Administrator of the Lighthouse Orphanage, Lady Pastor Bridgette Ogoe (2nd left).  Picture: Rebecca Quaicoe-DuhoMinister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, has asked all orphanages in the country to register with the respective metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies so that their activities can be properly monitored and documented.

She further directed orphanages to register with the nearest police station with their physical address, telephone numbers and the number of children in their care to ensure their security.

Nana Lithur gave the directives after visiting the Lighthouse Orphanage at Jamaicaso, a neighbourhood in Aburi in the Eastern Region, where four suspected armed robbers on Sunday, August 25, 2013, robbed the caregivers of their monies and mobile phones, the orphanage of electrical gadgets and raped one of the caregivers.

The minister  was accompanied by the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Christopher Babooro, and the Officer in charge of Care Reforms Initiative and Orphanages, Mr Alois Mohl.

Nana Lithur said new orphanages in the country should register for security risk assessment with the police before they were established.

The minister warned that the ministry would close any orphanage that flouted those directives.

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According to the Administrator of the Home, Lady Pastor Bridgette Marian Ogoe, the robbers did not rape or molest any of the children as reported by a section of the media.

However, the children became traumatised as the robbers left in their trail blood stains after battering the caregivers and raping one of them.

“There was so much blood in one of the rooms and I even got scared when I saw the blood,” she told the minister.

According to her, one of the caregivers managed to convince the robbers not to enter the rooms of the children since they had nothing to offer them and, therefore, most of the children did not physically witness what went on.

A few of the children who saw  the scene because they came out of their rooms have been relocated, and the caregivers who were manhandled are  receiving treatment.

The minister assured Lady Pastor Ogoe that she would ensure the children were given psycho-social counselling to help them overcome  their trauma.

She also requested the Aburi-Mampong District Police Commander, DSP Agyenim Boateng, to post a policeman to ensure security at the home in the mean time.

The Minister later visited the Akuapim South District Assembly and held discussions with the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Kinston K. Afari-Djan.

She appealed to the assembly to give the orphanage the needed assistance  to ensure that the children were adequately protected.

The DCE, who bemoaned the alarming rate of armed robbery in the Aburi area, called for more support in terms of logistics for the police in the area to combat the crime.

The minister also visited the Aburihene, Otoobour Nana Djan Kwasi II, to commiserate with the chiefs and people of Aburi over the sad incident.

By Rebecca Quaicoe-Duho, Aburi/Daily Graphic/Ghana