Ms Lena Alai, the Volta Regional Director, Department of Gender (DoG), has called for the inclusion of the youth in decision-making to ensure development.

She said adolescents had a lot to contribute to societal growth and development when properly equipped with the needed information.

Ms Alai was speaking at the opening ceremony of a four-day Mentorship and Empowerment Camp for adolescent girls and boys in Ho on the theme: “Adolescent Lives Matter.”

It was organised by the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) and the Department of Gender with sponsorship from the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) and the Canadian government.

A total of 120 adolescents made up of 82 girls and 38 boys drawn from four districts, South Dayi, North Dayi, Central Tongu and Afadjato South, are participating in the empowerment programme.

The Director said the Department had undertaken various activities aimed at empowering individuals, stakeholders and communities to promote the equal opportunity for boys and girls.

She said the Camp aimed to provide the youth with the right information to guide their development into adulthood, especially concerning their reproductive health.

Ms Alai said adolescence was a stage with much vulnerability for most young people as they tended to believe many stories, mostly from peers and end up making wrong decisions.

She called on society to protect adolescents from engaging in sexual activities and other social vices so they could grow up to become responsible citizens.

Madam Enyonam Afi Amafuga, Volta Regional Director of Education, urged the participants to make the right choices in life as “your choices regarding the unique challenges you face in this period would mark you either for greatness or a deplorable life.”

She described the training as apt as it aimed to equip the adolescents with requisite knowledge and skills on ways to handle challenges associated with adolescence.

The Director implored the participants to stay away from illicit drugs, promiscuity, pornography, abuse of the internet, bad company and other ills of society which could impede their progress in life.

Madam Amafuga commended the organizers and the UNFPA for the event and urged the participants to endeavour to put the knowledge they acquired to good use to live a meaningful life.

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