Social work can get great job satisfaction says social worker Anne Anglaaere
UNICEF details the picture of men and women in Ghana who work for children’s survival. Here, social worker Anne Anglaaere tells her story.
By Madeleine Logan
NORTHERN GHANA, 02 May 2013 - Anne Anglaaere-Konlan says that social work is her calling, her passion. She heads up the Government’s child rights program in the Northern Region. A large part of her work is to oversee the only government-approved orphanage in the three northern regions of Ghana – Nyhoni Children’s Home. When a baby is abandoned or loses their mother, she is the first port of call. She also finds a safe home for the children of imprisoned mothers and trafficked children. Here is her story.
"Just yesterday I had a call from the police after a big bus crash. A mother was killed in the accident, but her baby survived. The baby has no name, no identification. We took her straight to to Nyhoni Children’s Home. At the moment she keeps looking around for her mum. She’s confused by where she is. If the police can’t find who the mother was, she will be put up for adoption.
"When a family brings a child to the orphanage, we don’t admit them straight away. The district social worker does a home study and counsels the family on the need to raise their own child. They try to find an aunt or extended family to take in the child .The orphanage is a place of last resort. There are many disadvantages to raising a child in an orphanage. The child becomes emotionally disabled here. They are confined to the orphanage and they don’t mingle with society as a whole. Home becomes a strange land. This is Dagomba land and there is a way to relate to your aunty, your grandmother and your father here. The orphanage has a different value system and the children find it difficult to fit in to society. They become a stranger in their own home.
"Social work is not a place to go looking for money, because you won’t get it. But you can get great job satisfaction. When somebody walks in to my office in tears and walks out smiling, that is very satisfying. But I see things to do and I can’t stretch. This children’s home runs solely on donations form people. If it was not for UNICEF, I couldn’t do any monitoring of other orphanages in the region.
"Within Tamale, I use my own car to go around monitoring the orphanages. If you don’t have passion to work you won’t succeed. You need passion and heart".