FaBCA calls on government to increase safety net of OVCs

Accra, May 31, GNA - Family Based Care Alliance (FaBCA) has called on government to increase the safety net of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) through pro-poor economic policies that can alleviate the burden of those struggling to cater for their families.

The Organization also called for partnerships with government and non-governmental agencies to help more children remain in, be reunited with biological families, or regain a healthy family through foster care or adoptions to reach their God-given purpose and potential.

The call was made on Monday during the official launch of FaBCA’s Kinship and Foster Care Month themed, "Adopt a Foster Family or Child"

The occasion seeks to sensitize Ghanaians on the plight of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCS) through creating awareness, changing minds, and setting up OVC-centered ministry in Churches and communities.

It would also train interested families and individuals in kinship or foster care and raise financial support in the form of monthly stipends, food, clothes, among others, for families and individuals who seek to foster or adopt a child within their local communities.

Reverend Kingsley Kwayisi, Lead Facilitator of FaBCA said persisting challenges from COVID-19 had disrupted safety nets of most children globally and the effect on children in Low-and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) was expected to worsen.

He said it was necessary to adopt novel approaches to promote and strengthen family-based care systems for all children especially for orphans and vulnerable children.

“We believe this will change attitudes and the way we care for OVCs in Ghana. We believe that caring for OVCs today will shape their future positively and drastically reduce the prevalence of social vices in our communities tomorrow.”

“Well-meaning individuals, organizations, and social enterprises are encouraged to join in this worthy course as part of their corporate social responsibility to help not only reduce streetism, inequalities, and illiteracy but in the long run, help curb the prevalence of social vices,” he said.

Rev Kwayisi said the old narrative that orphans and vulnerable children needed handouts and occasional visits in orphanages and on streets had to change immediately.

He said if faith-based organizations and well-resources families in communities worked together to care for and promote the best interest of children, a new narrative would emerge where every child would belong to a loving and stable family.

“We are making a clarion call for every well- meaning Ghanaian to take a stand in prayer and action to support orphans and vulnerable children within their communities. If we respond to this call, we can make a difference in our lifetime by offering hope and opportunities to several children who have been praying and crying for help in orphanages and in the streets.

“Let us begin with a new mindset that can make a difference in abused, trafficked, abandoned or orphaned children and to minimize the circumstances that make most children vulnerable in society by doing our part as we trust God to help us bring more stability, care and love to the many vulnerable children in our communities,” he said.

The Lead Facilitator said later in the year, FaBCA would observe 20 years of “Orphan Sunday” globally, a unique opportunity set aside every second Sunday in November for churches and organizations around the world to recognize God's heart for OVCs and call their people to respond in a variety of ways.

Bishop David Kwadwo Ofosuhene of the International Christian Cooperative Ministries (OVC Connexions) and a FaBCA Director said orphan care was God’s initiative in religion to improve the lives of the vulnerable in society.

He said orphans, when well taken care of can grow to become assets to the nation and the world, as such, they should not be abandoned.

The Bishop called on religious leaders from all walks of life to partner with FaBCA and be trained to engage in foster parenting.

He said those who cannot practice foster parenting themselves could provide financial support to families who had dedicated themselves to foster parenting.

The Director said the media was a powerful tool needed to drive the agenda, thus, he called on the inky fraternity to join the campaign towards providing a better life for orphans.

Mrs Catherine Ama Nartey, Executive Director of Succoth Adoption Services advised citizens not to look unconcerned when they noticed abuse of any form on children.

She said the habit of unconcern that had gradually perpetrated the moral fiber of Ghanaians was dangerous to the nation’s progress and needed to be eschewed.

He said the fight against abuse was not the sole responsibility of Government or the Church but rather, all should come on board by reporting cases of abuse to the Police, Ministry of Gender or Department of Social Welfare for the matter to be taken up.