Kamis, 01 Maret 2012


By Zainabu Issah
Recently the Daily Graphic, carried a report of a raid at the Autism Awareness and Training Centre at Kokomlemle in Accra by some thieves destroying items worth thousands of Ghana cedis and also getting away with an unspecified amount of money.
The thieves were reported to have struck during the early hours of Sunday morning precisely church hours and managed to destroy the doors of the premises.
The items damaged during this raid were computers, speech therapy equipment and other important learning materials that was important to the everyday lessons of the centre.
The centre is among one of the special schools in the country catering for children with developmental disability which affects their social interaction, communication skills and repetitive restrictive behaviour.
Children and adults with autism are also typically associated with difficulty in verbal and non verbal communication, group activities and even games.
Few days after this raid, there was another report that thieves have stolen 12 out of the 19 cows meant for the Bawjiase Orphanage home in the Central Region.
The stolen cows estimated to cost  about GH¢ 18,000 were a form of a sustainable livelihood to the home for it was from the sale of these cows that funds were generated to take care of the orphans.
The orphanage which is also known as the Countryside Children’s Home has an 80 acre farmland as a self reliance programme to cater for the orphans.
It is also an independent, charitable, on profit organisation dedicated to the positive development and welfare of the under privileged children in society.
You might be wondering where am going with this article but my problem is :what has been the outcome of the investigations on these poor and vulnerable institutions?
Are they given any attention at all by the security agencies in the country? What are our so called Human Right activists doing to support these child institutions, or they are waiting for it to be a nationwide issue where the visually impaired  and those with hearing impairment  also face the same problem.
We must know that these institutions were set up by individuals who thought it wise to accommodate children who are less fortunate and vulnerable in the society. They therefore take no funds from the government but depend on donor agencies, individuals and organisations to support the centres.
The autism centre engage children in vocational education like basketry, beads making, batik tie-die among other trades to equip the children with requisite skills in other to survive in the future.
Where else would they learn this form of education when equipment have been stolen by individuals who have no use for them?
My  plea to the government and the security agencies in the country is to see to the welfare of the children and identify the individuals who for one thing or the other; want to send our dear children back on the streets.
The children have equal rights as any other person in this country, hence they are entitled to the same security and attention. We need to sit up and take issues seriously before the visually impaired and those with hearing difficulties suffer the same fate.


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