Project for out-of-school youth launched at Kongo
PYouth4Change, a project for out-of-school youth has been launched last weekend, at Kongo, in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region.
It is aimed at empowering beneficiaries with information and skills, to enable them to make informed decisions on unintended pregnancies and child/forced marriages.
The one-year project, which is being implemented by the Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana (YHFG), a non-governmental organisation, is receiving support from the Goal Keeper Accelerator Fund.
Launching the project, the acting Executive Director of YHFG, Ms Priscilla Nyaaba, disclosed that a demographic and health survey indicated that 16 per cent of girls aged between 15 and 19 in Ghana, had begun having children at a tender age.
She stated that the Nabdam District was one of the hardest hit in terms of teenage pregnancies, child/forced marriages.
Ms Nyaaba said scores of girls between 14 and 15 years were pregnant, school drop-outs and living with men as husbands.
She noted that teenage pregnancies was the cause of child marriage, and expressed worry that many pregnant teenagers, were often given out by their parents in marriage to men and boys, who impregnated them.
Ms Nyaaba stated that the project was to complement government’s efforts at addressing the problem of teenage marriage.
According to her, the Youth4Change Project would augment the Ending of the Early Child Marriage Initiative introduced by the government.
Ms Nyaabe called on civil society organisations, media, traditional and religious bodies to support efforts at eliminating child abuse.
She said the Youth4Change Project is being piloted in the Dasabligo, Kongo, Nangodi, Pelingu and Sakoti communities in the district.
The Assistant Director of Education in charge of Supervision, Mr Francis Sapaat , expressed worry about the spate of teenage pregnancies and child marriages in the area, and appealed to stakeholders to help eliminate the problems.
Police Inspector Christopher Kwarteng, Station Officer in charge of the District Police, advised children to report cases of child and forced marriages and sexual abuses to the police.
The District Chief Executive for Nabdam, Mrs Agnes Anamoo lauded the NGO and the funding agency for complementing government’s efforts at tackling the problem in the district.
The occasion was also used to outdoor the youth groups from the beneficiary communities.
The youth groups are expected to become ambassadors in educating the people to prevent teenage pregnancies and early /forced marriages.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, KONGO