17 nov. 2008

The Dubidous Orphanages

Selon Mme Margaret Kutsuati, directrice du Département de la protection sociale du Ghana, sur 127 orphelinats du pays, seuls trois étaient officiellement enregistrés en tant que tel.

La prolifération des orphelinats est alarmante: de 10 orphelinats en 2001 à 127 aujourd'hui!

Pour ces propriétaires avides de foyers d'enfants, la détention et l'exploitation d'un foyer pour enfants est comme n'importe quel autre business; le seul but primaire est de faire de l'argent.

Il est prouvé que nombre de ces maisons fonctionnent sur le principe sur lequel certains investisseurs se lancent dans les affaires de propriété de football: il suffit de vendre des joueurs après quelques années.

Le Département de la protection sociale est au courant de ces événements et a décidé que trop, c'est trop...

Publié dans The Ghananian Times, le 29 octobre 2008.

The Director of the Department of Social Welfare, Mrs Margaret Kutsuati, last Friday made a disclosure that was very disturbing.
According to her, out of the 127 orphanages in the country, only three were officially registered to operate as such.
The three are the state orphanages in Accra (the Osu Children’s Home), Kumasi and Tamale.
The law is that before an orphanage is allowed to operate, it must first register with the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment in compliance with the requirements of the Children’s Act.
Its premises must then be inspected by the Department of Social Welfare.
It is only after this that the orphanage can be gazetted as having official existence.
The proliferation is alarming: from 10 orphanages in 2001 to 127 today!

Mrs Kutsuati further revealed that all the 124 existing illegally were initially registered as NGOs and later converted to orphanages.
Driven solely by motives of financial gain, proprietresses of these homes fail to employ enough staff to cater for the children. The homes themselves are overpopulated and in bad sanitary conditions.

These are alarming revelations indeed.
They come only to confirm an observation about the Ghanaian society, that as a people, we seem to be drifting dangerously toward a society where the law has ceased to deter criminality.
Greed is taking the better part of the average Ghanaian; indeed, to people who still have fond memories of the Ghanaian of yester-years it is hard to believe that the Ghanaian could be so callous and selfish as to make money at the expense of children’s wellbeing.

For such greedy children’s home proprietresses, owning and operating a children’s home is like any other business; the primary and only aim is to make money.
There is evidence that many of these homes operate on the principle upon which some investors go into football ownership: just to sell players after a few years.
The proprietresses are said to be in touch with some establishments and individuals with doubtful reputation and intention to whom they sell the children. Some are in it in the hope that some international NGOs, philanthropists and funding agencies would hear of them and send them dollars and euros.

The Times cannot be happier at the news that the Department of Social Welfare is not unaware of these goings-on and has resolved that enough is enough.
The department has served notice that all these illegally existing homes would be closed down; that even when they meet the standards, they would be registered only as transitory homes; meaning, that they would not be allowed to keep children there permanently.

We ask: are the child rights advocates aware of the existence of these homes? The society expects them to make not only their voices heard, but also collaborate with the Department of Social Welfare, the Ministry of Children’s Affairs and, possibly the police, to end the illegal operation of these greedy business women.

We wish the Department well in this assignment and wish to caution them that while at it, it may discover that some of the people behind these operations are very influential persons in the society. We pray that the Department will see its role as God-ordained and move in without mercy to save the lives of the orphans.

Aucun commentaire: