The Management of SOS Children’s Villages Ghana, has urged the media pay critical attention to child protection and advocacy.
According to management, it has noticed that across the African continent, children and young people without parental care are growing up alone, left behind in development and exposed to abuse, exploitation and other practices against their fundamental human rights, while the media spends much time on political issues.
The National Child Protection Advisor for SOS, Josiah Bernard Nartey, who spoke to Citi News on the sidelines of a two-day partnership knowledge management with the media, called on the media to focus their attention on saving innocent lives who are future leaders of the country.
“The most important tool for projecting issues in the society is the media as a unit. Projection calls for education and awareness creation, and we believe that with the media as our partners we are going to make a real success of this endeavour of taking care of children and protecting them”.
“I think that the Ghanaian media space is so concentrated on political issues and sensationalism, so I want to plead with the media that even though the scale has not been tilted to favour children, this time around, I want them to turn their attention to children who play an important role in society and the future leaders of the country for the development of our country. Children are the most vulnerable in our country and the vulnerable needs to be protected so the media should spend their attention on issues concerning children”.
The Manager for Advocacy, Communications and Brand for SOS,Edith Efua Chidi, speaking on the theme ‘Not Leaving The Media Behind’ after the workshop was hopeful about the collaboration with the media going forward.
“Without the media our advocacy work will be in the dark, and we will not be able to achieve our vision, so it is important we bring the media along, but how do you involve the media to make an impact if they do not understand the core of the things you do or the issues you want to engage them on; so we needed to have this training to inform and educate the media on the core functions of SOS and the impact we have made over the period”
“When you look at the name of this event it is called partnership knowledge management session, we want to partner with the media in Ghana and by so doing we need to first impact them with the desired knowledge so that they may be able to come out with the desired effects”.
SOS is not rich, we love quality
Management took time to diffuse the myth that the organization is well established, a situation that makes it difficult for people to support them.
” SOS is not a rich organization, but like any other child welfare organization, we raise funds to undertake our activities, you do not take somebody from hopelessness and send the person into extreme hopelessness. If you take someone from a hopeless situation you need to give the person hope and become a beacon of hope and light for the person so it is not that we are a rich organization, but we create a safe and conducive environment for the children to be comfortable and know that there is hope for them in the future. We are not a rich organisation, we depend on the benevolence of well-meaning Ghanaians to cater for these kids “.
Impact of COVID-19 on SOS
Edith Efua Chidi who touched on the impact of Covid-19 on their operations called on the public to collaborate with management in securing a bright future for beneficiaries.
“Covid-19 has affected us, but SOS does not only receive from people, we also give out. Covid-19 affected us in the area of revenue because we had so many people who stopped giving to us, but the little we had we went back into the communities and gave them televisions for homeschooling, those who did not have internet we provided them with modems for virtual learning and all that with learning materials, face masks, food items to them and caregivers”.
“We want the public to come and help us because we can not do it alone. For the past 47 years, you all know the impact we have made, and you will realize that our community intervention programmes do more. How many children can we keep in residential care? Not much; but you can get over 2,000 beneficiaries in one community so we are putting everything we receive into good use, and we want those in the position to support to come and help us”.