2022-01-04 GHANA

West Africa promoted workshop on Safeguarding the Rights of Children and Vulnerable Adults

The Marist Province of West Africa organized a workshop on Safeguarding Children from the African perspective on the 10th of December 2021 at the Provincial House in Accra. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Nora Nonterah. Thanks to the Provincial Commission, Brothers from the other countries were able to follow the workshop via Zoom.

In her presentation, Dr. Nora Nonterah identified and explained the various forms of abuse children suffer in Africa. She noted that some of the abuses are usually seen as taboo – hence the tendency to protect the relationship between the families and communities concerned at the expense of the victim. To safeguard children, she encouraged that there is a need for sex education in our schools, policies for safeguarding children, training, openness, dialogue and above all cooperating with the local authority whenever there is an issue regarding child abuse.

Dr. Nonterah blamed some abuses on wrong theological interpretation of suffering which in most cases supported such acts. In her opinion, ‘Jesus’ suffering on the cross is to liberate us from operation and injustices, cruelty and pain. She added, ‘we must not suffer for God – He suffered with us; he suffers to liberate us’. She maintained that encouraging victims to unite their sufferings with the cross of Christ should not be entertained in anyway.

In her conclusion, she remarked that many people think that child abuse is not an issue in Africa considering our traditions and cultures. She called on participants to be advocates of child rights and to be at the forefront in protecting and safeguarding the rights of children. She encouraged the brothers above all to show good pastoral care towards the children who have been entrusted to them.


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