Poverty mitigation issues years on end have found space in the developmental blueprints in countries worldwide. Nonetheless the canker of poverty has become synonymous with basic livelihood of man. In year 2000, a UN summit held in Geneva sought to find solutions to the global poverty problems. Sequel to that was the formulation of an eight – point poverty reduction goals which have been become the household name,” millennium development goals”. Goal one was tailored at mitigating extreme poverty and hunger by close of year 2015.
Ghana my beloved country bought into these poverty tackling goals per the dictates of the millennium development goals. This is exemplified in the design and implementation of policies by successive governments aimed at poverty mitigation. Some of these policies in Ghana include: P.A.M.S.C.A.D, L.E.A.P, N.H.I.S, Capitation grants for pupils of school going age public schools, School feeding program for pupils in public primary schools, free maternal care for pregnant women to mention but a few. Extensively the impact of these programs still begs for so many unanswered questions.
In my line of duty as a professional teacher at the basic level which spanned over fifteen years, exposed me to the reality check of poverty. In my teaching career all these years, I have come across and still meet pupils in basic schools with shared poverty stricken characteristics if not similar or same. Majority of these pupils cannot afford three square meals a day, wear tattered clothes, always appear unkempt ,bare footed while some attend an eight hour class on empty stomachs, foot to and from their various homes and schools over a relatively longer distance to mention but a few . The point of trigger to my anxiety is that majority of these pupils surprisingly are found in public schools dotted in urban and perk- urban areas such as LASHIBI, KLAGON, KOTOBABI, ADJEI KOJO, ASHAIMAN,SAKUMONO VILLAGE which are adjoining towns in the Tema metropolis. The question that keeps boggling my mind is ‘if pupils in prime areas such as Tema are at the receiving end of such a severe poverty, then what will be the poverty threshold and fate for those in our rural areas, shanty towns and distressed urban areas?”
Over the years I have been extending a hand of help in my own small way to these poor pupils in collaboration with my colleague members of staff .I have come to realize that our micro level offers though insignificant, on most occasions served as save our soul [SOS) tools .It is , however , worrying to see these innocent but potential future leaders left under the mercy of poverty and hunger .In the midst of my worry I was inspired by conventional wisdom to form RTF to amplify the voice of these unsung heroes in a select few public schools on a larger scale for these pupils to feel being part of the society hence put smiles on their faces . I, therefore, appeal to all and sundry to rally behind me to make this dream see the light of day.
“I look forward to building a lasting relationship with many more of you in the future.”