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Danish NGO supports grandmothers to care for grand children
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Regional News of Sunday, 15 October 2006

Source: GNA

Danish NGO supports grandmothers to care for grand children

Accra, Oct. 15, GNA - Three grandmothers from Osu in the Greater Accra Region have benefited from the first batch of a monthly financial support with initial 500,000 cedis each to support the upbringing of their grand children.

The programme, which is being run in close collaboration with the Street Children's Academy in Accra and their counterparts, the Danish National Federation of Early Childhood Teachers and Youth Educators aims at lending some form of support of grandmothers, who are responsible with the upbringing of children because of neglect by their parents. Madam Birgette Conradsen, Vice-President of the Federation, who made the presentation, said Osu was chosen as the focal point because of its historical link between the people and Denmark which dates back from the 16th up to the 19th century with identifiable places with strong connection to Danish history on the coast of Accra.

She said the project's idea was developed and implemented by a group of Danish pensioners from an NGO known as the Seniorshands to Africa and Asia (ShAA), together with the Trades Union of Denmark Solidarity Fund. Mr. Svend Laursen, Chairman of ShAA said the immediate objectives of the programme is to ensure that the affected children are kept in school; not to engage in menial jobs to maintain the family; ensure that the children have reasonable healthcare and to support the grandmothers to have better and improved standard of living during their old age.

He said he has the hope that the success of the project will encourage other senior citizens from Danish unions to support the idea to support ShAA to increase its assistance to more grandmothers responsible for the upbringing of their grandchildren in developing countries.

Nii Adu Daku Mante, Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle, who received the donation for onward handing over to the beneficiaries commended the union members and ShAA for their kind gesture, which, he said, forms part of the African family system of taking care of the aged in the society.

He recounted the historical link between the Danish and the people along coastal belt, especially the Gas before and after independence, adding that the initiation of the project would therefore go a long way in cementing the bonds of friendship between the two groups. Mr Joseph Wellington, the assembly member elect of Osu Alata Electoral area advised the children to lead exemplary lives in the community so that more neglected children could benefit from the programme to become useful citizens and not to resort to streetism to earn a living.

He also cautioned the children against harassing their grandmothers to claim the money donated since it is meant for their education, health and upbringing and not for unnecessary spending. Miss Joyce Owusu Agyemman, co-ordinator of the project said the children who are to benefit from the scheme are aged between five and 13 years and have been selected alongside their grandmothers from an initial number of 10 who were screened and found to be incapable of fending for themselves.

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