The Upper East Regional Directorate of the of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has formed boys and men clubs in 36 communities in six selected districts of the region to help address reproductive health and gender issues.
The beneficiary districts are Nabdam, Talensi, Bongo, Kassena-Nankana, Bawku West and Builsa South Districts.
The project dubbed: ‘United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) Support Activity on Formation of Boys and Men Clubs on Reproductive Health and Gender Issues,’ is co-funded by Global Affairs of Canada.
Speaking at separate functions, James Twene, the Regional Director of the Department of Gender, explained that the essence of the project was to empower the clubs which are made up of 720 persons to become ambassadors in their respective communities to help fight child marriage, teenage pregnancy, gender base violence and reproductive health.
He stressed that the issues of child marriage, teenage pregnancy, gender base violence and reproductive health were becoming challenges in the region and needed to be tackled, saying: “If not tackled now, it could negatively impact on the growth of girls and the country as a whole and I hope the project will help mitigate the phenomena.
“The Toolkits developed by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Child Protection will be used to teach the groups. The project will also constitute Parents Advocacy Movement (PAM) as well as undertake monitoring activities.
“As part of measures to help address the menace, we are collaborating with the Regional Directorate of the Department of Children and the Ghana Education Service with support from the aforementioned funding agencies to organise mentorship programmes for adolescent girls and also target key stakeholders such as the traditional and religious leaders,” Mr Twene assured.
Georgina Aberese-Ako, the Regional Director of the Department of Children, observed that the project targeted boys and men because when it came to the decision making process, they were the ones that led the process.
She appealed to all stakeholders including traditional authorities, religious leaders, civil society
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, NAVRONGO