22 January 2013

Ghana: Agony of 143 Orphan Children

Savelugu — ANOTHER ORPHANAGE perceived to be the largest in the whole of the Northern Region has emerged in Savelugu, with a total number of 145 orphans.

The children, including 112 boys and 33 girls, between the ages of one (1) and twelve (12) years, were brought together by one Ibrahim Mohammed, a native of the area, based in Saudi Arabia, following the molestation, torture, starvation and maltreatment that was being given to the orphans by their respective guardians after the death of their parents.

All the Children have lost both parents and were depending on relatives, who sometimes cared very little about what they eat, what they wear and even where they sleep. Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed, who is also a Philanthropist, in 2007 mobilized resources of his own to buy a land and put up some structures to serve as a Home for the kids. He has since engaged some caretakers and teachers who offer free tuition to the children.

The facilities at the Home, according to our information was put up for only 33 children,, but the home is now receiving more orphans, which seems to worsen the condition at the home. Apart from the congestion in the dormitory and classrooms, all the facilities are deteriorating.

Unfortunately, no one has heard about the existence of the Savelugu Children's Home, until Madam Olivia Yakubu, the Northern Regional Women's Organiser of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) visited the inmates, through the instrumentality of a Tamale based reporter, Mohammed Gbindrigbum of the Ghanaian Observer newspaper.

Madam Olivia Yakubu, who was so touched by the plight of the kids, could not but to organize a mini-party for the orphans at her own expense. The Plight of the over 145 orphans at the Savelugu Orphanage seem largely horrendous and require urgent attention from well wishers and compassionate individuals.

The Supervisor of the Savelugu Children's Home, Nantogmah Abdulai, told Madam Olivia Yakubu and the media that the children were being given free tuition, accommodation, feeding, uniforms and healthcare by Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed until 2009, when the Ghana Education Service (GES) decided to adopt the Home.

Things, according to him, had not been any better for the children and their caretakers. He said that several orphans who are undergoing trauma in the hands of their relatives have been identified, but could not be admitted into the Home, due to lack of space.

Mr. Abdulai hinted that he had personally appealed to the Savelugu District Assembly to come to the aid of the Home, or even register them on the National Health Insurance Scheme, but to no avail.

He, therefore, called on the Assembly and for that matter the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to establish poultry and crop farms on their remaining virgin land, as a sustainable source of income to run the Home.

One of the inmates, Ms Mohammed Farana, 12 years, told The Chronicle that her dream is to become a Journalist and also serve as the voice for the less privileged in society.

According to her, before she was brought to the Home, she was staying with her Auntie, who consistently tortured her and made her to sleep in the kitchen, close to where some sheep and goats were being kept.

"This made me to fall sick and my auntie and her husband refused to send me to the hospital. Later, somebody told Mr. Ibrahim about me and he came to take me to hospital. When I was discharged, he asked me whether I wanted to go back to the house, but I told him no, and he led me to my auntie and told her he was going to take care of me and that is why I find myself here".

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