Some 18 pupils from basic schools in nine communities in the South Tongu District have been recruited to champion the rights of children in their schools and communities.
Dubbed the Youth Advisory Board (YAB), the school children will help ensure the protection of children’s rights, including freedom from discrimination, freedom to information and education on sexual reproductive health.
At a capacity-building workshop by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and Plan-International Ghana at Sogakope, the Board was encouraged to look out for child rights abuses such as defilement, child marriage, assault, and child exploitation, among others and to report these infractions to the appropriate institutions for action.
The three-day workshop saw presentations on topics, including rights of children, domestic violence, community entry skills, teenage pregnancy, child trafficking, adolescent reproductive health, public speaking and lobbying skills.
Mr Kenneth Kponor, the Volta Regional Director, NCCE advised the participants, to live above reproach and to serve as role models in their various communities.
“I encourage you to go out there and speak to the larger community and make sure that you do everything you learnt here.”
Mr Seth Fiagorme, South Tongu Director, NCCE expected the YAB members to educate their peers and parents in the communities on issues affecting children to effect positive change.
He called for support from the public, saying, “this is not one man’s job but concerted efforts from all stakeholders to stop the ills in society.”
Miss Venunye Zodzenu, who speaks for the Board, said she and other participants had learnt a lot of things to help in identifying issues of concern to children and solving them as change agents
“For me as an individual who comes from Kpotame, I have identified teenage pregnancy and sanitation problems. I intend to educate my peers on the parts they can play while I meet with parents and opinion leaders to have discussions on what can be done to solve these issues.”
Master Bless Atsu, South Tongu YAB President, said the Board would go back to the communities as better trained to perform its role of ensuring a safer community for the youth and children.
The Youth Advisory Board, also present in Hohoe and Afadzato South Districts, was initiated in 2019 by the National Youth Authority and Plan International-Ghana based on some indicators, including teenage pregnancy and child trafficking to tackle issues affecting young ones in the region.