Opinion

Orphans are everyone’s responsibility

Hundreds of millions of young despaired souls are solemnly searching for comfort and solace every now and then. These virginal budding lives are marked with hopelessness and solitude. Their only fault is losing a parent or both at a young and tender age. Young orphans have had their childhood snatched from them, leading them to a more vicious cycle of domestic violence, poverty, homelessness, drug abuse and thievery.

According to the statistics, in every 2 seconds, a child becomes an Orphan.

SOS Children Village and UNICEF reports also conclude that, about 140 million children worldwide lost either a parent or both. On the other hand, almost thirteen million of orphaned children are either on the street or in orphanages. In Ghana, there are about 1.1 million orphaned kids. In Accra alone, over one thousand, both children and adolescents, sleep in the streets on cardboards in doorways, parking lots, lorry stations and under bridges. These orphans are constantly exposed to all sorts of danger. Some are exploited as cheap labor in their effort to fend for themselves. Less fortunate orphans find themselves on the streets during the day, begging for alms while those who find themselves among bad peers are influenced to engage in social vices.

Deprived of love, affection and basic resources for survival, orphans find themselves incapable of seeking for a better tomorrow. These orphans lack the care and attention needed for healthy development especially due to imbalanced diet leading to many suffering from malnutrition, other diseases and even loss of life. In the words of the ancient philosopher Plato, ‘orphans should be placed under the care of public guardians. In effect calling on the society to become the mother and fathers of these children. To become the family they never had.

World Orphan’s Day is commemorated annually to draw the plight of these children to the attention of the public and strengthen goodwill towards them. It will take the support of ‘public guardians’ to alleviate the appalling living conditions of these orphaned kids. There’s a lot the public can do to make a difference which will impact the lives of unfortunate orphans. One can support these children through donations to recognized orphanages, taking care of living expenses and sponsoring or investing in an orphan’s educational program.

One may also engage in fundraising activities to support and create awareness and encourage these kids. Notable among such noble initiatives is the World Orphan’s day led by the country ambassador, Asmaa Bint Ayub on 20th April, 2018 at Kawo-Kudi. The event saw over 300 children fed and offered with goodies. Fortunately, this year’s event comes off on 1st May, 2019 at the Community Youth Center, Kanda.

Orphan care isn’t a sole responsibility nor an act reserved for a selected few but the little we all do in putting smiles on the face of the less fortunate orphaned children. Feeding, caring and shouldering the responsibility for these children should be a collective responsibility of the entire society.

Let’s love and show concern for orphaned kids like one of our own. Losing a parent is traumatic enough at that tender age but ensuring that child is not robbed of his childhood will expand the child’s potential. Let’s be a reason for these children to dream of a brighter future. Together, with our help orphaned children will reduce on the streets and become better persons for a prosperous Mother Ghana.

By Fatimatu Abubakar White

NB: The Writer is a Student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism

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