The Board Chair of WomensTrust, an NGO, Professor Mansa Prah, has advised stakeholders to invest in girls to ensure that they remain in school and attain the highest educational status possible.
Professor Prah, also a former Dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Cape Coast, explained that although there was an appreciable improvement in access to education for girls, more effort was needed to ensure they did not drop out of school midstream.
She was speaking at the launch of the Graduate Students Association of WomensTrust held under the theme, “WomensTrust: Investing in Women and the Community”.
WomensTrust is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the development of women and girls in and around Pokuase, a peri-urban community in the Ga West District of the Greater Accra Region.
WomensTrust since its inception in 2003, has catered to the needs of over 7,000 underprivileged women and girls in Pokuase and its environs.
One of the NGO’s flagship programmes, the WomensTrust Tertiary Scholarship programme, supports academically promising but needy girls in school by providing their educational needs such as tuition fees, hostel fees, and provision of laptop among others.
Since the commencement of the programme in 2014, 16 beneficiaries have graduated from different tertiary institutions while 21 of them are still being supported at various levels of their tertiary education.
The Executive Director of WomensTrust NGO, Willibald Kafui Duho, described the launch of the alumni association as an important step in building a network of change agents needed to carry the mantle of WomensTrust forward.
Giving the keynote address, a Director of Operations at the International Justice Mission, Madam Anita Budu, noted that women and girls account for 70 per cent of those vulnerable to sexual and labour exploitation across the globe.
To this end, she said, education served as an important tool for empowering girls to stem the tide.
Madam Budu further noted that to sustain the impact being made on the education of women and girls, there was a need for support from individuals, parents, community leaders and other stakeholders.
A beneficiary of the scholarship programme, Monica Enyonam Duvor, lauded WomensTrust for supporting her education from the junior high school level until she graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
According to her, “being the first girl child to graduate at the tertiary level in my family is a plus for me and my family as a whole”.
Another beneficiary, Helena Asante, who had been a beneficiary since her final year at the senior high school level, recounted her experiences with WomensTrust, as a student at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).
BY TIMES REPORTER