The missing children team with dignitaries and families of rescued children
A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) with a focus on finding and reuniting missing children in Ghana has been launched in Accra.
The NGO, Missing Children Ghana, founded by award winning journalist, Regina Asamoah, will serve as a conduit for missing children to be reunited with their families through engaging with Ghana Police Service and Department of Social Welfare.
The Launch coincided with the celebration of the first International Missing Children’s Day in Ghana which is marked on May 24 each year to raise awareness on missing children and the important of protecting the vulnerable young ones.
Ms. Asamoah who developed the idea following the impact of her documentary series which saw over 200 missing children and adults reunited with their families said the NGO envisions a society where children fully develop within families while enjoying their inalienable right.
She expressed gratitude for the support she received from some personalities indicating, “as we launch the organisation today, it is a very critical step taken by myself with the kind support of well meaning personalities who believed in the welfare of children and most importantly share the same belief with me that one missing child is one too many.”
She said over the two-year period she has been working with her team on the course, “we have received 630 missing persons’ cases with 80% of these cases being children…all these families contacted the Missing Children Team because they saw how successfully we have reunited almost 200 missing children and adults.”
She further noted, “So, on this special occasion as we celebrate the first ever International Missing Children’s Day in Ghana, let us pray for those children who have gone missing. May they connect with their families soon.”
Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Francisca Oteng Mensah, said the number of missing children is alarming, indicating that reports show that thousands of children go missing across the world every year.
“It is important to recognise that these children are not just numbers on a chart but venerable human beings, and love ones that families are missing and yearning to see” she lamented.
The Deputy Minister further noted that each missing child represents a heart breaking story or lost, fear and separation and it “is our duty to stand with them in times of their safe return.”
National Director of the Department of Social Welfare, Comfort Asare, said the issue of missing children is a serious one that is of great concern globally and Ghana is not an exception.
“In 2022 the department of social welfare through it case management services provided care and protected to 712 children, comprising 427 females 285 males who were reported as missing and abandoned the department was able to reunite some of these children with their families and efforts are been made to reunite the remaining ones and the rest are also staying in residential homes,” she said.
She was thus hopeful that the newly launched organisation will build on the efforts the department was making in uniting missing children with their families.
With support from IPMC Ghana, the NGO has a website http://www.missingchildrenghana.com/ that the public can assess for information on missing children and also report a case of a missing child.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri & Nafisa Abdul Razak