Sep 24, 2010, 12:12 PM
Stakeholders in the country and their partners from the World Initiative for Orphans are discussing the plight of orphans in a two-day national forum.
The forum is expected to yield a tangible national plan of action on orphans and vulnerable children in the country.
According to Mr. Maarten G.H Brekelmans, WIO's President "around 2025 we would face around 300 million direct orphans and around 100 million indirect orphans in the world."
This is indeed worrisome as it will have a dramatic effect on all parts of the world. This is a serious matter and the world needs to do something about it now than later.
We learnt that in The Gambia alone, there are about forty-eight thousand orphans in our midst.
Children, first and foremost are humans and as a matter of fact needs care and protection. Parents, society and the government as a whole have a responsibility to protect all children, irrespective of their status.
We firmly believe that when given the opportunity and maximum protection children can effectively contribute towards national development as future leaders.
With this figure, it's important that world leaders do more to bring the issue into the global agenda.
While we acknowledge the efforts undertaken by the government to protect and empower children, including vulnerable children, we also call on her to do more in ensuring that every child receives his or her fundamental human rights.
While government cannot do it alone, the intervention of Non-Governmental Organisations and other stakeholders is indeed of paramount importance.
Every child needs parental care and as a result, all hands must be on deck to nurture our future leaders.
We need to clear off our roads with street children and Almudos (beggars). We need to ensure that every child goes to school, and more importantly, every child is completely liberated from the clutches of abuse and exploitation.
Once again, we challenge all those participating in the ongoing national forum on OVC to take the forum seriously and do justice to the document.
Remember that every child deserves a dignified life.