The Oti Optimist Club has been inaugurated at Nkoyna in the Oti Region to provide safer conditions for deprived children in the community.
The club also aims at training young adults in the area to acquire skills to reduce unemployment, as well as motivating them to live a healthy lifestyle to make a difference.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President of the Club, Maxwell Osei Anokye said the NGO would train the youth in artisanal skills such as carpentry, and public speaking as well as basic health education.
He said that school children are most vulnerable when it comes to decisions made by their parents about their health and education. “Therefore, the club will enhance the capacities of school children, materially and academically to better their abilities”.
Mr. Osei Anokye said his outfit would bring developmental projects such as Psychological enhancements and morale boost to the people by collaborating with the District Assembly.
In addition, the club will assist the assembly in making by-laws that which would protect the lives and rights of children in the community and also ensure that there is respect for laws and Persons Living With Disability (PWDs).
He noted that the Oti Optimist Club was targeting a thousand students across the community to educate them on childhood health and wellness on chronic diseases such as childhood cancer, sickle cell Anemia, mental health, depression, bullying and abuse.
In addition, it would also engage children in arts, athletics, academics and community service work to impact the children positively for the immense growth of the Nkonya community.
He again noted that people and students would be drawn from schools within the district to educate students from the community which has about 10,000 inhabitants.
The selection, he said, would be done by the teachers of the various schools, in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service, the Social Welfare and the Department of Health, to be resource persons for the delivery of the programme.
He, therefore, called on stakeholders to support with resources and suggestions to operate fully for a better outcome.
“We have ideas, but we are not static. We are here to change, amend and mend ways with the community and bring ideas into fruition and also bring about the best in youth and kids at home and in schools to the community on the map”, he stated.
Respect for law
He stressed on the need for the youth to have respect for the police. He advised them not to take the law into their own hands by fighting back at the police since their duty is to protect the citizen.
“That is why Oti Optimist club will educate children about their rights as citizens and on what they can do as individuals to ensure law and order”, he added.
He urged parliament to expedite operations in providing by-laws to protect persons living with disability in order to promote non-violence.
“Oti Optimist Club has come to stay for the benefit of all, and therefore the office would be our headquarters in the region to decongest the District Assembly office and the regional office in Dambai”, he said.
A youth activist for the area, and Public Relations Officer for Oti Optimist Club, Nana Yaw Otibo said that there are no resources that would allow school dropouts who have completed a trade to start their own businesses. “Thus, investors must invest in the area”.
He, therefore, called on Civil Society Organizations and NGOs to support the provision of jobs to address the challenges of the people.
“Without youth, the country cannot stand. When the youth is up and doing, the country can grow. So we call on them to come to the aid of Nkoyna for a better-improved environment”, he said.
Oti Optimist Club is a Non- Governmental Organization based in Missouri, in the United States of America. It has been in existence for over 100 years and has also been in Ghana for 25 years.
It has offices in the Ashanti and Greater Accra regions and now in Oti.
By Agnes Melissa Yovo | NKOYNA, Oti Region.