16 December 2005
by Augustina Tawiah
Children from the Teshie Orphanage here in Accra had a nice time last Saturday when they went on an excursion to the Accra Zoo and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.
The excursion, which formed part of activities marking the United Nations International Volunteer Day (IVD), which fell on 5 December, helped the children to learn more about animals and Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and his works.
The United Nations Volunteers programme, created by the UN General Assembly in 1970, is the UN organization that supports sustainable human development globally through the promotion of volunteerism and the mobilization of volunteers.
In 1985, the United Nations designated December 5 as International Volunteer Day in an effort to heighten awareness of the important contribution that volunteerism can make to social and economic development.
In Ghana, this year the United Nations Volunteer office together with a group of non-governmental organizations, such as Right to Play, Students and Youth Travel Organisation (SYTO) and Voluntary Services Overseas, instituted the Corporate Volunteering Day on 3 December, to link corporate organizations with orphanages in the country.
Before embarking on the excursion, the volunteers and the children from the orphanage participated in fun activities to get to know one another.
Master Emmanuel Boateng, one of the children from the orphanage, who could not hide his joy, said the excursion had helped him to learn a lot. He appealed to organizations to assist them to explore their environment.
Another child from the orphanage, Doris Borteley Anum, said the excursion had helped her to know more about the history of the country. She also appealed to organizations to help them to visit such interesting places so that they would learn new things all the time.
Nii Doodo Dodoo, the programme officer of the Voluntary Service Overseas, in an interview, said children from orphanages found it difficult to adjust to society when they came out.
The Corporate Volunteering Day, he said, was meant to create a network between organizations and children in orphanages so that when they came out they would be able to adjust.
He appealed to corporate organisations to help sustain the programme, since it would enhance their image and promote teamwork.
In a short address, the founder of the Teshie Orphanage, Janet Anyeley Parker, said currently the orphanage did not have a home for the children.