President John Dramani Mahama has called for the recognition of the spirit and relevance of volunteerism as a tool for national development.
He also stressed the need for the renaissance of volunteerism as a demonstration of the willingness of the people to mobilise their energies to advance the development of the country and their communities.
The President said this when he received the hierarchy of the Ghana Red Cross Society at the Flagstaff House last Tuesday.
Its leader, Dr Michael Agyekum-Addo, briefed President Mahama, who is the Chief Patron of the society, on developments in the society and sought his support to address the challenges facing it.
President Mahama noted that the spirit of volunteerism was dying because people now concentrated on how to address the challenges they faced in life.
“But it is in challenging times that communities should come together to exercise the spirit of volunteerism because that is what makes our traditional societies survive and grow.
“Working collectively, they are able to undertake their responsibilities quicker and better,” President Mahama said.
The President re-stated that national development could not be the responsibility of only the government.
“We all look at countries that have advanced like Korea and other places. They advanced because their people were prepared to die for their countries and their people contributed their quota to make their countries advanced,”
Consequently, he urged all Ghanaians to buy into the development agenda of the government and consider every day what each could do to advance the national cause.
He promised that the government would continue to champion things that would advance national development.
Ghana, he said, has beautiful potential.
“Our prospects are bright. We may have short-term challenges but I have absolutely no doubt that if there are any emerging economies coming out of Africa, Ghana is going to be number one,” he said.
Support to Red Cross
President Mahama said because of budgetary constraints, “there had been a squeeze on all sectors”, but promised that because of the good work the Ghana Red Cross Society was doing, the government would do all it could to support it.
He asked the leadership of the society not to be discouraged but keep up the spirit of good work.
Briefing the President on its activities, Dr Agyekum-Addo said in spite of the scarce resources at its disposal, the society had been able to undertake various programmes and projects in the communities.
He stressed the need to improve first aid and called on the President to support the Red Cross in that respect.
Dr Agyekum-Addo announced that the society had set up road satellite emergency posts on the Accra-Tema Motorway and would want to replicate it along the major highways in the regions.
He reiterated that the Red Cross was determined to do more for the nation but was being hampered by the lack of resources and expressed the hope that the government would come to its aid.