By Gifty Arthur
Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dzifa Abla Gomashie, is making a strong case for Ghanaian children, on the need to invest and adequately equip them to take the mantle of leadership in the not distant future.
For this reason, the Deputy Minister, is advocating for greater support from individuals, groups, corporate organizations, to promote the development of the young generation to become better adults.
The actress-turned politician, made the call when she gave the keynote address, on the launch of the 5th Youth Creative Arts Vacation Camp (YCAVC) last Thursday, in Accra.
Madam Gomashie, said “Let us all invest in the youth and children of our country, for as a soldier, doctor, teacher, minister and lawyer, your children will live in this country with all the children of a Kayayoo (head porter), cleaner and electrician. They will not be recognized as children of these professions but as children of Ghana”.
Present at the Community Youth Cultural Centre (CYCC) at Nima, were chiefs, opinion leaders and beneficiaries of the annual programme. According to her, “all over the world, there are specific programmes for children and the youth. We can increase the opportunities we have created for our youth”.
Madam Gomashie, whose organization, “Values For Life” (VFL), revived the Youth Creative Arts Vacation Camp some five years ago, said programmes of these nature, ought to be encouraged and enhanced to benefit many others.
She added, “We must be interested in their emotional, intelligence, creative intelligence and expression and physical development as we invest in their academic excellence”. She continued that “It is for that reason that Values For Life’s intervention for the last 5 years is remarkable,” adding “the collaboration of the CYCC and the VFL under the auspices of the National Commission on Culture has started yielding fruits”.
The Deputy Minister, a beneficiary of the YCAVC programme said, it was time new crop of creative activities are nurtured, and regretted how, the venue of the camp, now attracts more sporting activities than the creative arts.
She demanded “we must nurture a new crop of creative activities and culture expects for our country. We must be proud of our country. We must be proud of ourselves as a country and contribute same to the world”.
Over the years, the camp has been home to the likes of veteran actors, David Dontoh, Mawuli Semeyor, actresses Akosua Abdallah, Dzifa Glikpoe. It also served as a training ground for the popular Tete Adehyemia, the defunct By the Fireside series and many others in the 1990s.
Director of the Centre, Lydia Esala, speaking to The Herald on the sidelines of the launch, commended Madam Gomashie, for her timely intervention in 2010 and asked others to emulate her kind gesture to support the children to learn a trade during vacation.
This year, children for the programme, were drawn from the Nima community, Adenta, Teshie and the Village of Hope Orphanage, based in Pokuasi, all in the Greater Accra Region.
From Monday to Friday, between 8am-4pm, Madam Esala said, the children, aged 9-16years, are taking through training sections such as weaving, Batik Tie and Die, beads making, basket weaving, literary skills, play writing, drumming and dancing.
The programme, which was instituted in 1991, has touched the lives of hundreds of individuals, who are making it in their fields of endeavors. The programme which started last week, would run till August 27, 2015.
Chairman for the event, who doubles as Chairman of Council of Zongo Chiefs, Alhaji Baba Imoro Issah, thanked the organizers for hosting the annual event in the community.
After a short sketch by “Achievers Ghana” which exposed dangers of early marriage, Alhaji Imoro Issah, expressed concern about the menace and reiterated the need to discuss that bad practice which is denying children of school going age, education.
“We are rendering the lives of children in schools hopeless. The chiefs, we would have to look at it critically”, he said.