Dr Ziblim Barri Iddi, the Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture has called on parents and teachers to expose children to variety of art forms to enable them improve on their creativity.

He said this would also enhance their creative thinking.

Dr Iddi was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Community Youth Cultural Centre’s (CYCC) vacation camp from August 21 to August 29.

The camp was on the theme: “Creativity the Bedrock of Our Culture”.

The National Commission on Culture (NCC) in collaboration with the then Ministry of Youth and Sports designed a Community Youth Cultural Programme to address the socio-cultural needs and aspirations of the youth of Ghana, who constitute over 54 per cent of the population.

The object of the Centre was too respond to and satisfy the out-of-school recreational and leisure time needs of the youth and to identify and realize the talents of the young persons.

It was also to enhance the creative and cultural abilities of the youth and channel their energies into positive use, to promote the positive values of patriotism and co-operation and to prepare the youth as an important human resource for national development.

He assured management of the CYCC of the Ministry’s support to unearth talents in the creative arts industry to develop the nation.

The Deputy Minister expressed the hope that during the camp, these children have learnt morals and values that would empower them for the future.

He said the development of the youth was very dear to the President and he had tasked the Ministry to show keen interest in programmes geared towards youth development and empowerment.

He, therefore, called on the private sector, NGOs and stakeholders to come on board to support and ensure that future camps were bigger and better.

“The Ministry extend their full support and endorsement of the work of the CYCC and the NCC,” he added.

Hajia Akosua Abdallah, the Director of CYCC, said the NCC and the Ministry of Youth and Sport initiated the programme to bring students between the ages of nine and 20 to spend their vacation and leisure by taking advantage of the facilities at the Centre to learn craft.

She said the vacation camp was an annual advocacy tool use in empowering the youth and making them productive in the community and the nation as a whole.

She said the Commission on culture believes that learning and practicing a craft was a great way of keeping the youth out of trouble during their leisure times.

“It also serves as a means of gainful employment in the future and preserving and passing on the rich culture heritage of our country,” she added.

He said it was their mandate to identify and enhance the creativity, arts and cultural ability of the young.

She said the camp in the past had succeeded in unearthing artists in the youth, while keeping them away from involving in social vices.

The Executive Director said in all 109 students acquired skills in the performing arts, visual arts, vocational training such as basket weaving, tie and dye making, bead making and puppetry.

She said even though the training was smooth, there was inadequate funding to support the activities of the children.

Hajia Abdallah commended parents for allowing their children to participate and also management of Values for Life-Ghana, (VFL-Ghana), especially its Chief Executive Office, Ms Abla Dzifa Gomashie for their continues support over the years.

Ms Gomashie said the VFL-Ghana collaborated with CYCC this year to organise a Reading Clinic in the Ketu South Municipality.

She believes that Reading was a life skill, which must be taught in a fun way, so management of VFL invited volunteers and partners to come and read to these young ones.

“We use the opportunity to teach the participants how to drum,” she added.

She said there was the need for children to learn how to grow that ‘we eat, eat what we grow and learn how to cook that which was unique to who we are’.

She said children must learn how to cook ‘ademe with eworkple, atseke with grilled tilapia, konkonte with groundnut soup’ and not only noddles and pizza.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh