By Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA
Wa, July 27, GNA – Social Initiative for Literacy and Development Programme (SILDEP), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has expressed unhappiness with the breakdown of cultural values in some African societies.
The NGO said the lack of respect for the elderly in society, the blatant disregard for community rules and regulations, lack of interest in learning the local languages and increase in negative social vices on the part of the youth were not only affecting the moral fiber of society but were also hindering efforts at realizing development goals.
Mr Moses Dramani Luri, Executive Director of SILDEP, said this during the 10th anniversary celebration of the organisation held in Tumu in the Sissala East District of the Upper West Region.
“Our traditional marriage systems, norms and institutions coupled with our religious beliefs do not support the attainment of the legal systems, conventions and charters on child marriage, child abuse, commercial sexual exploitation, sex tourism and same sex among others”, he said.
“Parents leave their obligatory roles to teachers, media and their peers. This leads to social vices like ‘streetism’, teenage pregnancy and pre-marital sex. It is high time we revamp our cultural and traditional values”, he said.
Mr Luri called on all stakeholders to continue to support SILDEP, district assemblies and government to fight these concerns to ensure an enhanced development in our societies.
He said SILDEP, since its formation in 2008, has chalked a number of milestones including the implementation of over 20 projects, partnership with over 15 development partners and donor agencies, covered over 184,741 direct beneficiaries and spent over GH¢3,309,462.50 on development projects.
Others include the mobilization of over GH¢1,328,801.60 through Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA), employed over 60 staff and covered 15 districts in two regions of Ghana and one in Burkina Faso.
Mr Moses said the new focus of SILDEP was on advocacy for a balanced society in which the vulnerable were well integrated in society, adding that the rights of the girl child and young women were of prime concern to the organisation.
Mr Ali E. Kwabalugu, SILDEP Board Chairman, said for the past ten years, the organisation focused on literacy and language development, protection of girls against violence, socio-political participation in society by girls and young women, economic participation and promotion of post primary education.
He said community sensitisation in 454 communities both in Upper West and Upper East Regions, organization of Girls Camps and mentoring programmes, provision of in-kind scholarships for girls, building of classroom infrastructure, and formation of community Child Project Committees as some of the achievements of the organisation.
Mr Kwabalugu said SILDEP had been successful in stimulating child rights, women participation and primary education for all in a region where traditional cultural practices were dominant.
Mr Salfu Waah, a Former District Chief Executive, appealed to communities to protect their cultural heritage against the infiltration of western cultures.