Oct 15, 2008, 6:31 AM
The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Mr. Abubacarr Gaye yesterday presided over the official opening of a two-day national forum on orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), at the Paradise Suites Hotel.
The Department of Social Welfare, in collaboration with World Initiative for Orphans (WIO) organised the national event.
According to Minister Gaye, the conference will among other things review the national plan of action on OVC. "Parents have fundament rights to protect the children and where they fail society has a responsibility to intervene," he stated.
He revealed that the country have a comprehensive law, which seeks to protect the rights of all children in the country, referring to the 2005 Children's Act.
He said that vulnerable children needs equal care and protection, as well as to enjoy their childhood. He reaffirmed government's commitment in empowering children.
Speaking earlier, the Director of Social Welfare, Mrs. Fanta Bai Secka thanked WIO for funding the programme.
"It's important to strengthen the capacity of families to care for orphans," lamenting that many children miss their childhood because of many factors.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr.Maarten G.H Brekelmans, WIO President said that "around 2025 we would face about 300 million direct orphans and around 100 million indirect orphans in the world."
This figure, he said, will have a dramatic effect on all strata of society.
According to him, efforts have been taken been to protect and empower vulnerable children.
Mr. Morris I.O Anyim, WIO Country Manager, chaired the occasion.