The Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes and urges respect for the human rights of children. In particular, Article 19 calls for legislative, administrative, social and educational actions to protect children from all forms of violence, including abuse and neglect. In Ghana, neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse and exploitation of children are widespread problems (National Child Protection Study, 2013). All members of society are vulnerable to this crime, regardless of race, age, gender, ability, or social standing. However, children in particular are most vulnerable to abuse.
Research into early interaction confirms more socially oriented theories of development, such as Vygotsky who insisted that our mental operations have their origins in early social interactions and that the quality of interaction between caregiver and child is decisive for the child’s higher mental development. This implies that, not only our affective social relationships and bonds are important in working with the child, but also our cognitive operations have their origin in the early interaction between caregiver and child. Other studies have also shown that infants who are abandoned and separated from their mothers become unhappy and depressed, sometimes to the point of panic. After long periods of separation and isolation, they show symptoms of either apathy and withdrawal or restlessness, hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, and craving for affection.
It is very therefore very important for children to have stable and loving relationships with their caregivers usually their mothers. Because of the love and affection they receive, they learn to rely on the caregiver and to trust her. As they grow they learn by watching and imitating her, as well as by getting instructions and guidance from her. When they manage to do something, their learning is reinforced by her praise and approval. This is a normal scenario, because the mother does not need any special training, this kind of caregiving comes naturally and instinctively to her. This is the ideal environment for a child to develop his potential to the maximum. Therefore, based on the afore mentioned data concerning general challenges faced by children and the child rearing practices by caregivers in Ghana, ICDP proposes a pilot project among key staff of the organization who work with children to support in improving their work with mothers/ caregivers within our communities where we work with the support of Global Fund For Children
The Project will be targeted at three main cohort beneficiaries as follows:
1. Fifty (50) Caregivers in selected orphanages in the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions
2. Fifty (50) Early Childhood Development in Public Basic Schools in the Ga-West and Akuapem-South Municipalities
3. 6 Key ICDP Staff