Churches urged to develop interest in foster parenting

reThe Orphan Sunday Ghana, an NGO, has called on churches in the country to develop interest in fostering orphans.

It wants churches to provide orphans and vulnerable children, a place of love, hope and a sense of belonging within the Christian family environment.

According to the Group scripturally God wants Christians to consider orphans, however; it was the responsibility of Christians to come together in ensuring that there were no orphans and vulnerable children in the community.

Speaking at a news conference in Accra, Reverend David Kwadwo Ofosuhene, the National Coordinator for Orphan Sunday Ghana, said aside the culture of visiting and donating items to the various orphanage homes, churches should also consider their education, as well as how to get them families to live with.

Rev Ofosuhene noted that, most of the orphans had relatives, and so, church leaders must also create interest among church members to adopt foster parenting, as a social responsibility, and suggested that the family members should support orphans and accept them as their own biological children.

He explained that ‘Ageing Out’ was a period where an orphan was institutionalized for a longer time, and set to move out, though most of the orphans left without acquiring skills to enable them to earn a living.

He said that institutional care was not the best solution for the development of children and proposed that as a matter of urgency the orphanage homes should be turned into educational institutions.

On behalf of Orphan Sunday Ghana, The National Coordinator said the Coordinators, Christian Alliance for Orphans, Ghana Without Orphans, and other stakeholders were equipped to teach individuals who had the interest on how to foster children.

“We want to collectively support orphans in their education and welfare”, he added.

Rev Father Nathaniel Okai, Vice Chairman of Orphan Sunday said though there had been orphans in society over the years, traditional family setting took care of the orphans, adding that, “it was well structured in a way that grandparents were responsible for their welfare”.

He said the breakdown of the social fabric had created a new situation, as parents moved out of their locality to search for greener pastures, and cited an example where the worse scenario could easily be identified among street children, as the orphans may even look better.

The Vice Chairman said, as a society ‘we need to be mindful of our responsibility whereas, one stands in for all and all standing in for one’, and proposed that there was a need to readopt the old traditional family system.

He said Christian homes should step in, and play their spiritual responsibility, adding that, “, if each church decides to cater for an orphan, its possible each child should be in a home considering the number of churches in the country”.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr John A. Moritz, Executive Director for Hearts of the Father Outreach said, the church being the witness of Christ was the best organisation to supervise and assist activities of orphans.

He said in line with Government’s directives to close down orphanage homes, there was a need for people; especially Christians, to be equipped and trained to manage the situation.

Mr Moritz observed that “in Ghana the focus on orphans was not enough; it is not a priority to both Government and the church, and also among the challenges, was getting the Government to respond positively to the NGO’s here who have come to help; and sending a positive message out about the role of the society, with regards to orphan care”.

The Orphan Sunday is an initiative, which aims at creating awareness and sensitizing the public on the need to support orphans and vulnerable children in society.

The news conference formed part of activities marking the 2015 edition of the Orphan Week Celebrations


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