Rossy Foundation Ghana Shows love to Borstal Home on Val’s Day

It was all smiles for prison officers, juvenile inmates at the all-boys Senior Correctional Centre, formerly known as the Ghana Borstal, as representatives of Rossy Foundation Ghana donated items to the institution on Valentine’s Day.

Items donated included food items, toiletries, packs of water, and soft drinks. Country Director of Rossy Foundation Ghana, Pastor Richard Essel, during the donation expressed his organization’s readiness to provide all the essential support needed to ensure child offenders receive the behavioural, psychological and mental reforms before leaving the prisons.

According to the Country Director of Rossy Foundation Ghana, one of the critical components of the reform process would be consistent counselling given to the inmates. He argues that increased counselling would be beneficial in eliminating the thoughts of suicide from the minds of inmates. He argues that the structured and consistent counselling could help work on the mindset of the inmates and improve their mental health particularly with suicide thoughts.

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“I am very concerned about the mental health of the young ones as a professional counselor. In their situation, especially when they become a little hopeless due to their crimes and the very thought that they are unlikely to be re-accepted by society predisposes them suicidal thoughts”, Pastor Richard Essel, averred.

Citing reasons for his focus on suicide, Pastor Essel share that in Ghana, about 1500 suicide cases are reported annually, and in each reported case of suicide are four unreported cases, summing the number of unreported cases to almost 6000 yearly (Daily Graphic, 2015).

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Meanwhile, he expressed worry over recent spate of children-to-children crimes and attributed the seeming spike to factors such as peer pressure, addiction on the part of offenders, inadequate parental care and support, get-rich-quick attitude of the younger generation. Other factors, he outlined, included betting amongst the youth, living fake lives and lack of institutionalized counselling units for adolescent and young adults and the influence of what is watched, heard and read on both traditional and new media.

“I think parents must be the best friends of their children so that challenges can easily be discussed. Parents must monitor their children to know which Internet sites they visit and what do they do with their time most of the time. Some children do receive their pieces of advice from their friends so before they parents will get to know it will be too late” Pastor Essel suggested.

Officers present during the donation and brief interaction assured of doing their maximum best to protect the lives of the juvenile inmates as well as double up on their reformation duties. According to senior officers present, the only way to achieve a total reformation would be to form a strong collaboration with both state and non-state actors and work towards the goal of the children coming out fully reformed.

The institution, they shared, has a lot of challenges and they entreated the general public, NGOs, corporate institutions etc. to assist in helping the children become better.

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