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Gambia: WIO Setting Agenda A Call for Global Partnership for Children Without Parental Care


Gambia: WIO Setting Agenda A Call for Global Partnership for Children Without Parental Care

The Daily Observer (Banjul)

24 April 2008
Posted to the web 24 April 2008

Assan Sallah

World Initiative for Orphans (WIO), is an independent, non-profit human right organization for orphaned and abandoned children worldwide with its Headquarter in the Netherlands. Children who are deprived of the guidance and protection of their primary caregivers are more vulnerable to health risks, violence, exploitation and discrimination and they are often deprived of education which is their fundamental human right. WIO strive to guard the fundamental needs of this disadvantaged population by engaging in advocacy, education, problem analysis, and the development of solutions based on sound research that can be applied by countries and NGOís worldwide

Mr. Morris I.O. Anyim, the Country Manager for WIO-The Gambia in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer said that WIO look forward to working in partnership with stakeholders and to use the multi-sectoral approach as key elements in tackling the issues of orphans in West Africa and the Gambia in particular. Mr. Anyim said that it is time for us in Africa to balance the answer to the immediate needs of orphans with long-term interventions aimed at the eradication of this problem.

Mr. Anyim further said that it is amply evident that, in Africa that many factors have led to the increase of orphans in our communities.

"Unfortunately the problem is not going away, but increasing to alarming proportions. Therefore, each intervention aimed at prevention, should be carried out with a 360 degree perspective which includes the poverty factor", he observed.

"Under this initiative, we need to discuss and deepen the issues of minimum standards of care for orphans, we should all note that orphans in fact, have a right to receive holistic assistance which is able to answer their real needs",Mr Anyim added.

"As Gambia Join WIO in addressing issues concerning Orphans, we aim to meet not just the immediate needs, but the potential of the children we serve, by encouraging and enabling the interests and talents of each child in our care, and by helping them to heal from past physical and emotional wounds, we hope to sustain change in the society, albeit gradually, by breaking the cycles of extreme poverty, abuse and abandonment that have dominated the lives of successive generations of orphans in West Africa. In addition, by using sound and ethical research methods, we will carefully examine where we are succeeding and where we can improve", he revealed.

According to Mr Anyim, the problem requires urgent attention as it threatens the very fabric of our communities in Africa.

"A starting point would be to get an understanding of who these children are and the factors that turn them into orphans. This is perhaps the saddest and most tragic part of the tragedy that is unfolding in Africa. Children are our most valuable commodity yet we appear to have abandoned them to their fate", Morris Anyim asserted.

Finally, he went on, we should keep in mind the legitimate cry of many, too many impoverished orphans who are citizens of our society who demand justice rather than charity.

Maarten GH Brekelmans, from the Netherlands is the Founder/ CEO of World Initiative for Orphans.

2008 Apr 24