Missing Children Ghana Officially Launched
Missing Children Ghana, 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, serves as a conduit for missing children to be reunited with their families through engaging with Ghana Police Service, Department of Social Welfare and other relevant stakeholders.
The launch coincided with the celebration of the first International Missing Children’s Day in Ghana which is marked on May 25 each year to raise awareness on missing children and the importance of protecting the vulnerable young ones. This was the same time the Missing Children initiative observed its second anniversary.
Key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Department of Social Welfare, Ministry of the Interior, Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Ghana Police Service were present at the launch which was held at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra.
At the event, which was supported by Ghana Italian Women Association (GIWA), IPMC Ghana and Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, stakeholders shared the issues at hand, opinions, gave advice and suggestions to tackle the situation.
Aside from that, an official website for Missing Children Ghana, www.missingchildrenghana.com was launched.
A documentary was also played to allow patrons to have a feel of what Missing Children Ghana is about and doing.Meanwhile, some families who were once victims of missing children were also present to share their story
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 rights.
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 believe 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
The Ghana Police Service also commended the Missing Children Team for its documentary, Missing Children that has found and reunited about 200 missing persons, both children and adults.According to the Director at Cold Case Unit, CID Headquarters, Supt. Mawunyo Nanegbe, the documentary has helped the Police achieve desirable results in finding missing persons in the country.
He noted that last year, the number of cases of missing persons were more as compared to that of this year, although the year has not ended.
With support from IPMC Ghana, the NGO has a website http://www.missingchildrenghana.com that the public can access for information on missing children and also report a case of a missing child