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NGO launches plan to promote youth development 

Social Youth Extremism

The Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana (YHFG), a youth-focused Non- Governmental Organisation, has launched a five-year strategic plan to contribute to promote sustainable youth development and empowerment.

The strategic plan, spanning from 2023 to 2027, seeks to create enabling environment for Ghanaian youth to acquire entrepreneurial skills and professional development, youth empowerment and advocacy skills to enable them lead campaigns against social issues that affect their development and growth.

It would also enable the organisation to work with key stakeholders especially the youth to influence policy direction and national laws to enhance young people’s access to enhanced sexual reproductive health and rights to help end teenage pregnancy, child marriage, gender-based violence and other harmful practices.

The strategic plan which had funding support from the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU), was also part of activities to mark the 20th anniversary of the YHFG, which had dedicated its service to the development of youth in Upper East Region and beyond in the last two decades.

Ms. Priscilla Nyaaba, the Executive Director of YHFG, explained that the strategic plan aims to collaborate with various partners to empower youth to lead advocacy campaigns on their own issues such as reproductive health and rights, education, environment and climate change among others to ensure social justice and poverty reduction.

Ms. Nyaaba said despite interventions by government and other organisations, the youth in Ghana continued to face challenges including, teenage pregnancy, child marriage, gender-based violence, school drop outs, and unemployment among others.

She, therefore, underscored the urgent need for deliberate efforts from stakeholders to help address the challenges by providing enabling environment to retain children in schools and provide employable skills to out of school people to enable them cater for their families and contribute meaningfully to the development of their communities.

“We are currently working in five senior high schools within the Bolgatanga Municipality, but we have the intention to expand to more schools throughout the five years.

“We also want to create employable skills for youth because we have a lot of graduates coming out without jobs and so there will be more youth in the skills development sector and we have already started with seamstress and basket weaving centres for the youth at Yikeni in Bolgatanga,” she said.

On agriculture, she said, the project would support farmers particularly the vulnerable smallholder women farmers to access farm inputs to engage in productive farming practices to feed their families.

“We will also be focusing on marginalised smallholder farmers because in this region we know that women play active roles in the agriculture sector to ensuring food security and so we will link them up to input dealers, bring them on a common platform where they can have market access to enable them expand production to become economically independent,” she said.

Dr John Kinglsey Krugu, the Founder of the YHFG, explained that for the past two decades the organisation had contributed to addressing numerous challenges facing the youth such as teenage pregnancy, child marriage and school dropouts among others.

He said the organisation had also provided the platform for young people to realise their dreams who had become successful in various sectors and noted that there was still more to be done and there was the need to increase efforts to achieve maximum impact.

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