The residents of Kagu, a community in the Wa Municipality, have acknowledged the challenges associated with bearing many children and the difficulty in adequately caring for their basic needs.
The residents said properly feeding the children and providing for their educational and health needs for them to grow into responsible adults were difficult and stressed the need for birth control to adequately cater for them.
“We have to reduce the number of children we give birth to so that we can educate them very well,” Madam Matilda Saadong, a resident, said during a Social and Behavior Change (SBC) forum at the community.
The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) organised the event in partnership with UNICEF and Children and Youth in Broadcasting (CYIB Curious Minds) to sensitise the community to adopt some initiatives and behaviours that could auger well for their personal and community development.
While some men at the event contended that they could care for any number of children they gave birth to, Madam Charity Batuure, the Upper West Regional Director of the Department of Gender, indicated that feeding the children alone was not enough for their holistic development.
She stressed the need for the proper education of the children for them to become beneficial to their families and society and not only to feed them and give them parcels of land to farm.
“If two of your children gain admission into the nursing training college, what will you do to pay their fees?
“If you really think you want your children to be properly educated, then, bearing ten children will not be an option.
“If we want our children to grow and become beneficial to us then, we should reduce the number of children we give birth to,” she advised.
She said some parents, by their actions and inactions, encouraged their children, especially girls, to engage in certain behaviors that were detrimental to their lives and appealed to parents to live up to their responsibilities of ensuring the proper growth of the children.
Madam Batuure also advised girls to take advantage of educative programmes and activities to develop themselves into useful citizens.
Mr Kingsley Obeng-Kyere, the Programme Manager for the SBC project, advanced the need for prioritising the needs of both the girls and the boys to achieve holistic national development.
“UNICEF is always concerned about the development of every child and in every community, the girl child is important because they form a significant part of our population.
We cannot help developing the boys alone and leave the girls out, and if we are talking about the girls’ development too, we cannot leave out the boys because they will share the society and remain together,” he explained.
Mr Obeng-kyere, who is also the Executive Coordinator of Curious Minds, said the GBC-UNICEF-Curious Minds SBC platform was a learning curve for communities to adopt best practices that promoted their personal and community development.
Naa Salifu Zakaria, the chief of the Kagu community, called on the community members to take their wards’ education very seriously to ensure they grow to become better people in the future.
He said SBC was not about bathing and dressing nicely but about ensuring every child had access to education and appealed for adequate classroom blocks for the Kagu Basic School to ensure their children receive a better education.
The participants were also sensitised on good nutrition, good health practices and the need for them to accept the COVID-19 vaccination.