Source: Daily Graphic Ghana - Following the exposé at the Countryside Children’s Welfare Home at Awutu Bawjiase in the Central Region, five persons, including the founder of the orphanage, have been arrested.
A team from the Headquarters of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, with support from the Kasoa District Police Command, undertook the special operation on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, to arrest key actors accused of violating the rights of the children of the home....
Some residents of Bawjiase, made up mostly of the youth, thronged the home after the news broke on radio in the early hours of yesterday to lock up the founder until the police team arrived.
In his latest undercover investigations, ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, and his team uncovered poor feeding, forced fasting, sale of donated items, abuse, neglect, pregnancy, abortion and lack of proper health care at the home, after living in for six months.
The investigations, which were carried out in collaboration with the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) and titled: “‘Care’ less: the devil and the orphanage”, revealed that the home had been turned into a business venture by Mrs Boafo Yeboah, affectionately referred to as Auntie Emma or Mummy in the home.
It was discovered that the children were made to pose for photo opportunities to receive items from donors, only to be starved behind the walls of the orphanage.
Many of the items donated by individuals and organisations were sold openly by the founder. The items included bags of rice, gallons of cooking oil, cartons of milk, bales of used clothing, shoes and bags, toothpaste, beverages and toiletries.
The investigations also uncovered that the lack of supervision had led to inmates engaging in wanton sex.
Currently, all the children in the home have been relocated.
About 44 of the children who were classified as orphans were earlier transferred to the Osu Children’s Home.
Police sources have also confirmed that the rest of the children were yesterday taken to the Don Bosco Home in Accra.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has announced that it has initiated prosecution against the management of the home for molesting and abusing the children.
According to the ministry, the decision was taken after the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney-General had been briefed on the issue.
“We have begun the necessary prosecution action against the culprit,” the sector Minister, Nana Oye Lithur, said when she addressed participants in a national gender validation workshop in Accra yesterday.
“The government is on top of the issue,” she said, indicating that the necessary steps had been taken to prosecute the persons involved.”
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