Ghana: Big Opportunity for Street Children
Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra)
15 April 2008
Posted to the web 15 April 2008
In his bid to equip the youth with sporting skills in the country, Mr Ray Quarcoo, a renowned sports enthusiast, has set up a non-governmental organization, Bridge Foundation, run by a 61-year-old Robert Bevan, a retired British civil servant.
Moved by the request of the then Ministry of Youth and Sports (now Ministry of Education, Science and Sports) in 2002, when the late Mr Edward Osei Kwaku was the sector Minister, Mr Quarcoo, the President of Bridge Foundation started the construction of a multi purpose sports facility at Roman Ridge in Accra.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the youth centre which houses a big sports hall, training centre and a three-bed room accommodation for Coaches and trainers, on a plot of land provided in 2003 by the Ghana Railways Corporation in Accra, and inaugurated in 2003 . Mr Quarcoo, in an interview revealed that the Foundation seeks among other things to reduce the street children menace confronting the country by helping them fully develop their potential and also keep them from other social vices.
The President stated that "We will also facilitate refresher courses for our sports administrators and Coaches, as well as clinics for schools to improve sports." He pointed out that the NGO will on its own equip the centre with modern facility and a scholarship scheme to the benefit of deserving youth who have excelled in their various fields of endeavour and also arrange for overseas training and sponsorship for national teams preparing for international competitions.
"Already, we are in serious talks with a British-based company, OPEN CAST, in the United Kingdom who have expressed their interest to come on board to make this project a huge success," Mr Quarcoo said. According to the president, OPEN CAST are on the verge of raising funds through fund raising campaigns towards the building of a three JSS classroom block at Kokrobite, in Ghana. Through his efforts, great boxers such as Ike Quartey, the Clottey brothers, Alfred Kotey, Osumanu Yahaya among others has gained prominence.
Mr Quarcoo emphasized that the training centre is opened to children between the ages of 10-20 and with talents in sports, especially boxing and table tennis in the Accra metropolis. He is therefore appealing to individuals and corporate bodies to throw their weight behind other sports Foundations in their quest to salvage the street children menace. Already, the Foundation has started a computer training exercise for intelligent but needy children in the Roman Ridge Area and has had two graduation ceremonies already. And for some time now, Child Care Foundation, an NGO based at Malam, in Accra, visits the Bridge Foundation on Saturdays for computer training lessons under the tutelage of Nicholas Manu, a graduate volunteer of the organization. At the early stages of the constructional works, the late sports Minister visited the site and congratulated Mr Quarcoo for offering hope to the needy in society.