Teenage mothers in Ashanti Region are to receive livelihood support from the National Youth Authority (NYA).

This will be done through the Teenage Mothers Livelihood project. The Ashanti Regional Directorate of the NYA on Monday, launched the project which seeks to provide an opportunity for teenage mothers to be productive.

The Director of Authority, George Owusu Orwell Amponsah, said teenage mothers will become productive through the project because, it will create a platform to enroll the young mothers into vocational training programmes and equip them with relevant skills.

The project has been launched at a time when national statistics on teenage pregnancy is alarming. The Ghana Health Service recorded 550,575 cases of teenage pregnancy across the country between 2014 and 2019. In 2020 alone, 107,023 cases were recorded.

The Ashanti Region recorded the highest number of cases of 17,802, representing 16.2% of the national figure. The Kumasi Metropolis recorded the highest number of cases within the last 3 years – 1,308 in 2019, 1,146 in 2020 and leading so far with 572 in 2021.

Within the 3-year period, the first 5 districts with highest cases are; Offinso municipality, Amansie South, Asante Akim South, Kwabre East and Ejura-Sekyedumase.

Mr. George Owusu Owell Amponsah explained that, “the project will create a common platform for stakeholders to pursue an agenda to solve this menace. We realised that livelihood issues cause a lot of problems for young people, especially teenage mothers. We would recruit teenage mothers in apprenticeships to learn a trade or skill so that they can be empowered. We want to curtail another incidence of teenage pregnancy due to lack of livelihood.”

An officer at the Girls’ Unit of the Ghana Education Service, Hannah Amponsah, entreated parents to support their wards who fall victim to teenage pregnancy. 

“If you have a teenage mother at home, there is still an opportunity for that girl to go back to school, irrespective of the pregnancy. Even if the person is pregnant, or has given birth, they have the opportunity to get back to school,” she said.

A beneficiary of the Livelihood project, Lilian Obeng, spoke on how the project will help in caring for her baby.

“The programme will help us a lot. I do not work, it will help me to have a job to take care of my daughter. Fathers of our babies do not pay much attention to us,” she said.

Last year, the National Youth Authority in celebration of the Africa Youth Day, embarked on a peace walk and the signing of a peace charter. However, this year, authorities decided to highlight the need to eradicate teenage pregnancy in the country.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.