Mr Moses Dramani Luri, CEO of SILDEP addressing the people

The Community Child Protection Committees (CCPCs) have rescued 25 teenage girls from child marriage in the Sissala East Municipality, Sissala West and Wa West Districts of the Upper West Region.

Members of the committees revealed this during a monitoring visit by the Social Initiative for Literacy and Development Programme (SILDEP) to their various communities.

The CCPCs formed five years ago under the Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) project being implemented across 30 communities in the selected districts of the region, is to protect the rights and welfare of children and other vulnerable persons and groups.

The project implementation is being carried out by SILDEP in collaboration with Plan International Ghana with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Moses Dramani Luri, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SILDEP explained that the project was being implemented with focus on four thematic areas-child marriage; child abuse and gender-based violence; commercial sexual exploration; and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and employment.

He said the objective of the monitoring was to prepare communities for the end of the project and sustainability of the gains and also to assess the status of the community by-laws and the way forward.

Mr Luri observed during the monitoring that about half of the project communities had rescued at least a girl from child marriage, which he described as impressive.

He equally observed that there were evidence of efforts to ensure violence free society for women and children, citing the banning of record dance and loitering about in the night by children in most communities especially with a special Committee in charge at Lassia-Tuolu community in the Wa West District.

The CEO of SILDEP noted that the Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) initiative had equally boosted the livelihood situation of the communities as it served as a mobilization point for community education.

He added that it also boosted TVET since it compelled most of the young women to engage in productive vocation to enable them raise funds for their daily needs and also the savings.

Most of the communities lauded SILDEP, Plan Ghana and their donor partner for the project and promised to continue to improve the gains to ensure project sustainability.

Ms Belinda Vuur and Ms Zulfawu Zarkaria, Lassia-Tuolu and Baleufili Junior High Schools (JHSs) Girls Club Presidents were also present to educate their parents on managing girls to avoid unwanted pregnancies as schools closed down amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.