200 children live on GHC 300 for 8 months: The plight of Osu Children’s home

Abused, abandoned, forgotten – one of these sums up the story of about 200 children fostered by their secondary caregiver – the state – with the Osu Children’s Home providing shelter.

But it appears the national caregiver is beginning to care less. The door that opened to welcome these unfortunate fortunes from God faces imminent closure, Francisca Kakra Forson reports.

The subventions for running the home is ceasing. The Osu Children’s Home received only GHC300 last year from the Social Welfare department, an agency under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. The foster home has received nothing this year. Asking for one, when you have zero is not asking for more, it is begging for survival.

The home today runs on public spirited donations. But it runs into credit crisis many times. The Home credits for basic items like gas, charcoal and sachet water for drinking – something the manageress, Sharon Abbey is worried about.

Joseph Story once said republics are created by virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. He didn’t see the Osu Children’s Home. This public spirit is simply not enough to create a happy, well-run community of children.

Even attaches from government’s youth employment agency have had to abandon the facility after working there for a few months. And the old, faithful staff are retiring every year.

The children look up to the manageress for a decent meal, the manageress also looks up to the Social Welfare department for a decent subvention and the department is looking up to government. It is unknown who or what government is looking at.

What is known according to chairman of the Greater Accra Social Welfare department is a budget that was given to government sometime this year– now, that is something to look at and to look forward to – if it comes.

The department got just a single release of funds from government this year and gave GHC 300 to the home. That means each child is surviving on GHC1.5 for eight months.

That is the everyday miracle at the home, a miracle of living and surviving and looking for love from government. An inmate, Emmanuel Doodo sees this miracle and lives in it. Perhaps that is why he has set his eyes on becoming a man of God.