Regional News of Friday, 30 August 2013
The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur has directed the care reforms and orphanages division of the Department of Social Welfare (DSWF) to register all orphanages in the country with the department and police stations located within the same vicinity as the orphanages.
She also directed that the orphanages be registered with the various Metropolitan, Municipal ad District Assemblies to ensure proper monitoring and documentation of their activities. Nana Oye added that orphanages that do not comply with the directives should be closed down after a circular has been sent to the various homes.
She gave the directive while paying a working visit to the Light House Orphanage Home at Aburi in the Akwapim South District of the Eastern Region.
The home was attacked by an unidentified armed men who robbed and raped one of the caretakers while brutalizing some of the children in the home. It emerged after the news broke that authorities are not aware of the existence of the orphanage even though its managers insist it has been duly registered.
According to the minister, registering all the homes will give the social welfare department and the police the opportunity to conduct security risk assessments there from time to time to ensure the children were protected and catered for in a safe environment.
Nana Oye Lithur has also directed the department to organize and make available a clinical psychologist to take the children and other victims of the assault through counselling.
She said it was traumatic to hear and read the news in the media and that the ministry will offer the home with some assistance in order to keep it running.
Nana Oye Lithur also pays a courtesy call on Otoobour Djan Kwasi II, Paramount chief of the Aburi Traditional Area and inspected some market projects by the District Assembly.
She assured the chief and market women of government's commitment to protect the citizenry to ensure economic development.
Lady Pastor Bridgette Marian Ogoe, Administrator of the Home explained how the incident happened, denying media reports that some inmates were raped.
The Light House Orphanage Home in Aburi has 20 inmates comprising 11 males and 9 females; ages between two and half to 16.