Thanksgiving service to round off Children's day celebration | General News 2003-08-31
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General News of Sunday, 31 August 2003

Source: GNA

Thanksgiving service to round off Children's day celebration

Accra, Aug. 31, GNA - Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs on Sunday advised children to be careful of what they watched on television and the music they listen to since that could seriously affect their upbringing and development. She bemoaned the types of music, mostly on sex and love, played by radio and television stations saying that children were picking the wrong lessons from them.

Mrs Asmah was speaking at a thanksgiving service to round off this year's National Children's Day Celebrations organised by her Ministry in collaboration with the Kristo Asafo Church at the Efua Sutherland Park in Accra.

The National Children's Day is an important event on government's calendar that offers an opportunity to reflect and take stock of policy and programmes to improve the circumstances of children. About 1200 children from the Kristo Asafo Church and about five schools in Accra attended the service to which the Winneba Youth Choir provided music to entertain the gathering.

Mrs Asmah said her Ministry had planned a meeting with the Musicians Union of Ghana to find ways of shaping their lyrics to enable the children to learn good things from them. She said, some of the programmes the television stations showed lived much to be desired, adding that the children had a responsibility to determine what was good for them by switching off their Television sets when programmes meant for adults were being shown. "Another area of great concern to me is the type of dresses the youth of today wear that exposes greater parts of their body than they cover, " adding, "for instance when you take the trouble to inform the one that her bottom is showing, she will tell you she is aware." She said, "Life is what you make it, "adding that parents, teachers and the society at large must help to train the children in a respectful and God fearing manner so that when they grew up they would not depart from it.

Mrs. Asmah said the society must reflect on innovative ways to overcome issues bedevilling the development of children, including indiscipline and creeping immorality, lack of facilities and opportunities for education, health challenges, including HIV/AIDS, weakening parental support systems and violence and abuse of children. She said media reports indicated increasing incidence of rape and defilement, child trafficking and prostitution, among other things, adding that the churches and mosques must redouble their efforts to discourage perpetrators of these crimes against the future leaders. The Minister said the sceptre of streetism threatened the future and development of children, adding that poverty was the basic factor responsible for this.

She noted that government had already created a very open and enabling policy environment to curb this and to enhance child development and welfare through the Women's Development Fund. Under this, 36 billion cedis have been provided for over 72,000 women in farming, fish mongering food evacuation and processing and petty trading to empower them to look after their children. Master Michael Asare Botwe, a student from Sarfo Training Institute who preached the sermon encouraged his peers to desist from engaging immoral acts, respect authority and study hard to achieve their dreams. Mrs Gloria Akowuah, Women's Secretary of the Agricultural Development Bank, who chaired the function said parents had a responsibility to help their children to develop their talents and ensure that they were given proper care.