The project aimed at working with teachers, directors of schools and community elders to evaluate the characters they seek to eliminate among students during their time in school. Teachers and community elders under the programme were supposed to consider what traits the students demonstrate that are not acceptable in society and, which would deny them the opportunity of being part of acceptable social and economic circles. The programme also involved the community and the social circles that the children associate with. The community and the members of public meet with delinquent children monitored to help them know what is expected of them and the way they should behave in their communities. The programme created opportunity for children to meet with the people in the community to help them identify the characters that can shape them and ways in which they can be nurtured to assist them attain a better future. Children were taught different life skills that could empower them to make better life choices. Community-based youth parliaments were formed to spearhead “Resilience Against Crime” campaign. They engaged both the traditional and local government leadership on the risk factors against delinquency and crime.
A total of 5,250 children were also reached out to with planned crime awareness and prevention programme in 28 selected basic schools in five districts across two administrative regions (Greater Accra and Eastern regions) of Ghana between year 2018 and 2019.
|La Nkwantanang 1,200 Akuapim North 1,400 Akuapim South 620 Shai Osudoku 600 Ayawaso East 1,430 Total 5,250|
Out of the total number, 52% (2,730) were male and 48% (2,520) were female. A total of 12 teachers participated very actively in the awareness programme and took personal interest in preparing students for debate and essay writing competition. The essay was on the causes of juvenile delinquency in school and in the community and what can be done to address these factors. Five Girls Education Officers from the selected districts were trained to lead the outreach using a 16-page pamphlet, developed by CRRECENT, a Psychologist and representatives from Ghana Education Service (GES), which was pre-tested in one urban school.
Over 10,000 were also affected by the programme through the debate forum where the entire population of participating schools assembled for the programme. The debate was on the topic ‘Parental Neglect Is The Cause Of Juvenile Delinquency In Our Society. Argue For Or Against The Motion’. The entire prevention component of the project was reinforced by lessons generated alongside implementation as well as researched truths about delinquency prevention programmes.
Equally critical are at risk juvenile offenders who do not go through the criminal justice system but are discretionally released by the Police without support for care and resettlement. The DSW has data on these juveniles whose fate is as devastating as those who go through the criminal justice system without the needed support. These do not show in any statistics and are totally denied access to opportunities for development.
This programme on “Child Delinquency” was dovetailed into a new CRRECENT programme titled, “Inclusive Citizens Participation in Local Governance for Economic Empowerment” as poverty has always been identified in the communities as a challenge to child holistic development and character formation. Most children in the communities worked and cared for themselves and did not feel accountable to parents and other adults in the communities. The focus of the programme was to empower communities politically to engage local governments and demand accountability and their share of local resources and secondly, empower them economically to avail themselves of government economic policies, e.g. “Planting for Food and Job” and “Rearing for Food and Jobs” among other things. It is the expectation under the project that families improve their standard of living, pay school expenses for their children and keep them in school to receive the character formation that will fit them for society. This programme reached out to over 56,000 persons in the communities.