38 orphans in need of COVID-19 PPE in Upper East

The items were presented to the orphans on Sunday in Bolgatanga.
The items were presented to the orphans on Sunday in Bolgatanga.

Some thirty-eight orphans at the Centre for Child Development in Bolgatanga, the Upper East regional capital, are in dire need of personal protective equipment (PPE) to stay safe from the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Their need came under the spotlight as their handlers spoke with the press when a well-known political figure in the region, Alhaj Abdallah Otito W. Achuliwor, donated some food items and toiletries to the centre on Sunday, accompanied by the Upper East Regional Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), Alhaji Sumaila Issaka.

Alhaj Achuliwor is a relation to John Setuni Achuliwor, a member of the Third Parliament of Ghana’s Fourth Republic representing the Navrongo Central Constituency between 2001 and 2003.

“This centre is under the Catholic Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga. Our major constraint here is funding for feeding. So, when people bring us support, we are grateful. We have thirty-eight children living here. To take care of thirty-eight children is quite expensive. The other challenge is now that we have COVID partial lockdown, we would need the PPE to support the children as they return to school.

“As they have started schooling, obviously, we have to keep constant supply of the PPE. When they go to school with a protective nose mask, they might not come back home with it, or they would come home with it and it is not usable again. So, you need PPE everyday ready on the spot to keep these helpless little children safe,” said the centre’s Project Manager, Felix Frederick Amenga-Etego.

Whilst expressing gratitude to Alhaj Achuliwor for the donation, Mr Amenga-Etego also said the doors of the centre were opened to any logistical support “like educational materials, clothing and so on” from generous individuals and organisations.

God frowns on eating what belongs to orphans— NPC Chairman

Asked how a thought about orphans occurred to him leading to the donation, Alhaj Achuliwor replied by saying it was a product of a talk that had existed for a long time between him and his daughter about the welfare of children who had lost both parents.

“I have a daughter. She is a lecturer at the UPSA (University of Professional Studies, Accra). We’ve been talking about helping children who lose their mothers at birth and they suffer as they grow. We have been speaking about finding a way to annually somehow be gathering things for such children.

“She gathered these ones (referring to the items donated on Sunday) last December. She said I should bring them along as I was coming up north to donate as a start. From here, we can now begin a project to be assisting needy children who are in orphanages so that they don’t suffer because they have lost their parents so young,” he told the press.

Sharing his religious thoughts about the donations and the welfare of orphaned children in general, the NPC’s Upper East Regional Chairman highlighted some reasons why parentless children deserved attention and why God would not allow anybody who abused them to go unpunished.   

“In Islam, we are asked to take very good care of the orphans. We are told that there are certain things that if you do, God finds it very difficult to forgive you— that is associating partners with Him and, secondly, taking what belongs to the orphan and eating it. He (God) says when you eat what belongs to the orphan, it is as if you are eating balls of fire into your tummy. And He (God) says anybody who takes care of an orphan will have a special reward. These are children who do not have their parents with them and society is supposed to be the one that will care for them.

“And, so, for us, it is mandatory even though we don’t find ourselves doing it very much. I’m very, very happy my brother has been able to bring something to the orphans. They have nobody to cry on to that they want this or that. My little boy at home sometimes calls me and tells me that I should bring him some yoghurt when I’m returning home. Who can these orphans call to bring them yoghurt? That is the kind of feeling that I have,” the NPC’s Regional Chair said with a deep emotion in the tone of his voice.                                                                                                                                                                                                     By Edward Adeti, Upper East Region, Daily Mail GH

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