Volta mentorship camp for adolescents held in Ho

The Volta Regional Director of the Department of Gender says the rate of teenage pregnancy in the Akatsi North District is a cause of worry for the Ministry.

Lena Alai speaking to the media at a regional mentorship camp for adolescents in Ho, noted that Akatsi North District is leading in adolescent pregnancy in the Volta Region, a situation she said must be urgently looked at.

According to her, the Akatsi North was invited for the 2020 adolescent camp but their leaders couldn’t respond early enough to take part in the program hence could not get a slot for their teenagers in the programme.

 “We invited the Akatsi North but they couldn’t not respond early enough for them to be involved in the program but their situation is quite serious “Ms Lena Alai noted 

She said engagement was held for the stakeholders, traditional and opinion leaders in the communities to sensitise them on the situation and the need to help in educating teenagers especially the girls in the communities 

Ms Alai has appealed to government for urgent action to ensure that the region gets essential facilities such as functional regional children’s park and children’s library without much delay.

“These facilities would definitely promote the exploitation and development of the talents of our young ones and prepare them for today’s world,” she said.

Ms Lena Alai noted that government is committed to the advancement of women which is reflected in its laws and the establishment of the Gender Ministry as well as the adoption of the Beijing platform for action and the UN SDGs. 

“Ghana recognized gender equality and women empowerment are critical the attainment of sustainable national development ‘’ she said.

The National Development Planning Commission has also incorporated the SDGs into its medium term development framework as a blueprint for MMDAs in developing their plan and programmes for implementations.

She noted that goal 4 of the UN SDG states: ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunity for all. 

“However our traditional beliefs continue to influence how girls and boys are brought up in our society, therefore restricting the former mostly from access to equal opportunities including education and training “She said 

According Ms Lena Alai, girls fall victim to child marriage and teenage pregnancy and when girls’ gets into early sexual relation /marriage, its gives rise to gender based violence and abuse because they are not mentally developed to face the challenges of marriage.

This, she said makes them lacks the skills to negotiate for safe sex and thus become victims in unsafe relation” (marriage with its consequences –unplanned birth and other health challenges)

According to her, with funding from the UNFPA the department is undertaking various activities that seek to empower individuals, stakeholders and communities to promote the equal development of both boys and girls and protect them from falling victims to teenage pregnancy and other social vices .

Ms Lena Alai noted that, it is sad that adolescence is a stage fraught with much vulnerability from the young ones since the tend to believe many stories mostly from peers, and are not able to take right decisions 

She however said that the camp session seeks to provide them the right information that would guide their development into young adulthood especially in relation to their reproductive health.

“We do not want them to become victims nor perpetrators of misguide actions “she said 

The Regional Director for education, Enyonam Afi Amafugah noted that adolescent children need to understand that how they handle the critical stage of life could set them on either a part of success or failure adding their choice regarding to unique challenges they would face in the period would mark them either for greatness or a deplorable life 

“You are therefore encouraged to make the right choice so that it may be well with you all days of your life : Madam Amafugah encouraged 

Madam Amafugah urged the adolescents to avoid any negative behaviors that could mar their future ambitions and destroy their plans 

Some of the adolescents have been speaking to joy news on their impression about the program and how it has positively impacted on their lives 

Beneficiary adolescents who spoke with joy news expressed joy on how positively the ongoing camp is impacting on their lives and asked that it is extended to other schools in order to have more of their peers groomed the right way