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Another orphanage to be closed down


by Samuel Ampah

The Department of Social Welfare last Thursday dispatched officials from Accra to close down Orphan Cry, an orphanage in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region.
The closure followed hours of inspection, after which the officials concluded that the environment and facilities at the home were below standard and also that it was operating without a licence.

There were also allegations of defilement, molestation and abuse of the rights of the children.

The home is also said to be understaffed, as only three untrained caregivers catered for more than 40 inmates.

The officials said the management of the home usually used wrong methods of admitting and giving children out for adoption.

Some of the children told the Daily Graphic that they were happy they were being relocated because they had to go to school with 20Gp until they returned for their afternoon meal about 3p.m.

The children have their meals under a tree, prepared by only one cook in a dilapidated wooden kitchen. The compound is dusty and there is an abandoned and uncovered borehole.

The Co-ordinator for Care Initiative, Mrs Helena Obeng-Asamoah, said they had developed a care plan for the children to ensure that they were properly relocated.

She said the situation at Orphan Cry did not provide the needed care that would make the children feel a part of society.

Mrs Obeng-Asamoah said some of the children had identifiable families and they would be contacted to go for them.

She advised members of the public to contact the department when faced with the problem of taking care of orphans for advice, instead of rushing to orphanages.

“When the children are brought to us, we then assess the situation and advise them and sometimes give them training and counseling on what to do,” she said.

She said Care Initiative would continue its activities across the country and if investigations of any home revealed that it was not suitable for habitation, it would be closed down.

The co-ordinator said their biggest challenge was logistics, adding that they some form of support from donors to enable them to discharge their duties creditably.

2009 Feb 21