The Rehabilitation-Reintegration International (RRI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) committed to educating the vulnerable, has underscored the need to empower the underprivileged in society to enable them to access the basic necessities of life.
Madam Matilda Baffour-Awuah, the Executive Director of RRI, said it was the conviction of the NGO that circumstances of one’s birth and the environment within which one lived should not be a yardstick to accessing the basic necessities of life.
She said the vulnerable must be helped to have access to resources, which could help develop their potentials and make them useful assets to society.
Madam Baffour-Awuah said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency when the leadership of the RRI paid a visit to the Shelter for Abused Children and Junior Girls Correctional Centre in Accra.
The fact-finding visit was to asses the needs of the Centre and a means of collaborating with the authorities to better train the girls to acquire skills to make them self-reliant.
As part of the visit, RRI donated items including assorted drinks, bread, toiletries, detergents and sanitary pads and an undisclosed amount of cash.
Madam Baffour-Awuah, who is a former Director-General of the Ghana Prisons Service, said women played varied roles in society including keeping the home and as mothers who would give birth and nurture the young.
She explained that it was, therefore, necessary to ensure that the girl-child, who would grow up to take up those responsibilities, was given all opportunities to grow and function successfully.
Madam Baffour-Awuah encouraged the girls to take their training serious adding; “We are happy to see your smiling faces and it tells us that we are at the right place doing the right thing for God and Society”.
Reverend David Kwadwo Ofosuhene, the Deputy Executive Director of RRI, said a ‘Discharged Board’ must be created for the Correctional Centre to discuss and reintegrate some of the prisoners when they had been discharged; which had proven to be very effective.
He said the Centre would need churches, philanthropists and other organisations to help in this area of discharging children.
“I believe God has a plan for them, but it takes people like you and others to find plans to reintegrate them, for the better”.
Madam Love-Grace Ahlijah, the Managing Director of the Centre, expressed gratitude to the RRI for the kind gesture.
She noted that the children were serving their terms to reform, while others were victims of child abuse.
She said with the Shelter for Abuse Children, the number of victims kept changing depending on how they were able to reintegrate them.
However, they did not have any formal school to attend and the Centre had only one classroom, in which they all gather for some literacy classes.
Madam Ahlijah said immediately the Centre received such victims, they made efforts to trace their backgrounds with one major challenge being locating their relatives.
She said the Centre was facing numerous challenges such as healthcare, education and feeding and called on the Government and other philanthropic and corporate organisations to support its activities.