Home News Markaz-Al-Bishara Holds CFAM Forum At Zori

Markaz-Al-Bishara Holds CFAM Forum At Zori

Cross Section Of Participants During The Forum
Cross Section Of Participants During The Forum

The annual Child-Friendly Accountability Mechanism (CFAM) forum has been held for schoolchildren in the Gushegu Municipality enabling them to share issues affecting them and demand better care and protection from their parents and duty-bearers.

A total of 210 schoolchildren drawn from seven community schools including Zori, Kutung, Sampemo, Tingdang, Sukaya, Kpahikpaba and Nayugu in the municipality in the Northern Region took part in the forum, which involved a drama focusing on children’s access to school.

Other participants included parents, and representatives of some state institutions including Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service, Department of Children, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, and chiefs.

It was organised by Markaz-Al-Bishara Child Development Programme (MABCDP) with support from Children Believe, an international non-governmental organisation, to enable children to identify child protection gaps in their communities and advocate ways to address them.

A communique by the schoolchildren, read on their behalf by Miss Zehara Yakubu, a student, said children were being abused emotionally, mentally, and physically.
It said “We are being exposed to many dangers. Some of us have to sell in the morning before going to school, and others go to work after school and close late at night just to get money for food the next day at school.”

It said, “Many of our female mates get exploited in the process and become pregnant and drop out of school or given out to marriages they are not prepared for.”
It added that “Another challenge we face is parents and caregivers enrolling some of our mates into apprenticeship work such as motor fitting, hairdressing, tailoring amongst others while they are still in primary or JHS.”

The communique said this practice mostly led to school dropout since many were unable to cope with academic work and apprenticeship work at that time and age.
It called for a society where parents, caregivers and stakeholders would prioritise children’s future by adequately providing them with their basic needs such as quality and accessible education, health care services, good shelter and social amenities, career guidance and counseling services, opportunities for skills learning at the appropriate age, and a conducive environment for a brighter future.

It said “We pledge to play our part as responsible children and appeal to stakeholders and duty-bearers to also pledge on their part to provide educational services, health, shelter, justice delivery and social services that will serve as a vehicle for us to fulfil our full potentials.”

Mr. Joshua Sayibu, Programme Manager, Markaz-Al-Bishara Child Development Programme, said the forum served as a medium to give children the voice to interact with parents and stakeholders on issues that affected them for redress.

He added that “The CFAM also aims at helping the children to improve on their personal hygiene, school and community. It also helps the children to learn through the topics they study in school, build their confidence and prepare them for future leadership roles.”

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