Community members at Jarigu in the Tamale South constituency have pledged to end all forms of child abuse in the community.
The chief of the area and his elders, women and school pupils made the pledge during a sensitization forum organized by Ghanaian Against Child Abuse” (GACA) campaign movement.
The forum which brought together NCCE, Community Development, CHRAJ, and DOVVSU was to remind community members on the need to protect their children against abuses. It was also part of an initiative of government of Ghana and UNICEF dubbed "Ghanaian Against Child Abuse” (GACA) which was launched by the second lady Mrs Samira Bawumia.
The objectives of GACA is in line with government’s Child and Family Welfare and Justice for Children policies that provide the framework for strengthening the child protection system to prevent and respond appropriately to issues of child abuse.
The campaign seeks to use various channels, including; the media, to create awareness on child abuse and would also mobilise nationwide support to provide a safe and protective environment for children to develop to their full potential..
Alhaji Yahaya Yakubu, Chief of Jarigu, pleaded with parents and guardians to exercise high sense of patience in the upbringing of their children. According to the Chief, it is only patience that parents can use to train their wards. He also prayed to Allah to bless all parents with wealth to enable them take good care of their children.
Community members including women and Stakeholders after being sensitized took turns to swore by hands that they will protect the children against any form of abuse.
They also appended their signatures indicating their pledge to protect children against abuse in their community.
Pupils in the selected basic school in a community noted for high incidence of child abuse also took turn to sign. Before the child protection team led by the Community Development of the Tamale Metropolitan assembly went to Jarigu community, child abuse and neglect was prevalent.
After several sensitizations, abuse has reduced to the bare minimum. Child neglect is however still a bane in the community which Development unit of TaMA says will also be reduced through GACA.
The Northern Regional Director of National Commission for Civic Education, Alhaji Abdul Razak Shani, expressed hope that the forums will have a positive impact thereby leading to the elimination of abuses. He was optimistic that community members and school pupils will have the courage to report child abuses to law enforcement agencies to deal with perpetrators.
Mrs Joyce Yeri, Unit Head of Community Development at TaMa told Zaa News that Jarigu was selected because the community members are always ready for such forums. Kayakers menace, she said, was high at Jarigu but UNICEF intervention has reduced it.
The Tamale Metropolitan Coordinating Director, Mr Safor Kantaka says 70% of children protection rests with parents, likewise the right nutrition for the children being the sole responsibility of parents.
He, however, was not happy about parental neglect when it comes to their responsibilities. He urged parents to stop hiding under the pretext of poverty and stop denying children food that will aid their wellbeing. He also advised parents to invest in their children education even if it means selling their livestocks.
The law of Ghana is against parents who reneged on their responsibility in providing their children education and protecting he warned.