The Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) in the Southern Programme Influencing and Impact Area (SPIIA) of Plan International Ghana, a non-government organisation, has been launched in Ho in the Volta Region.
The YAP is one of the structured mechanisms that Plan International has adopted to give the opportunity to young people to participate in Plan International’s internal decision-making spaces to share their perspectives.
The programme, which was on the theme: “Equipping and Working Together; Young People, Key Partners in Advocacy and Decision Making,” was also used to swear in members of the Panel for a two-year term.
Seven energetic youth drawn from the Children and Youth Advisory Boards working on issues relating to Child Protection, Rights of Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the various Plan International Programme Unit constitute the panel.
Mr Benjamin A. Boateng, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator at Ho Office of Plan International Ghana said working with the youth as an organisation was strategy to change the mindset of the young people and to position them well for future responsibilities.
He said the inauguration of the panel would be followed by capacity enhancement of members to equip them with requisite information and skills to commence their activities.
Mr Boateng, who swore in the panel, charged members to be committed to their duties, uphold, and adhere to the terms of engagement and policies of Plan International Ghana to promote the welfare of young people.
Ms Abena Anim Adjei, Youth Engagement Facilitator at Plan International Ghana, giving the overview of the YAP, disclosed that the organisation launched its first YAP in 2013, which comprised of 13 members, who worked on issues of sexual and gender-based violence.
She said along the line, the Panel became inactive due to several factors including lack of resources to sustain the engagement of members to carry out their mandate.
Ms Adjei said Plan International Ghana in its new country strategy, which is in line with the global strategy aimed to work more with girls and young people to be leaders and change makers in their families and in the broader society.
Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, Volta Regional Director Department of Gender, said today’s world provided unlimited opportunities for every young person to participate actively in solving the problems of their communities, districts, regions and nations.
Mr Yao Semorde, Volta Regional Director of the National Youth Authority said it was important to engage the youth in any programme and activities tailored to enhancing their development.
He commended Plan International Ghana for its continuous support in promoting the welfare of young people and preparing them for future responsibilities as the youth were the future leaders of the country.
Ms Benedicta Afrifah-Baah, a member of the panel, on behalf of her colleagues pledged to be committed to their responsibilities and work to achieve the objectives set for them.
She said they would do due diligence and uphold the values of Plan International Ghana, in a spirit of unity and cooperation to strive for lasting impact and abide by the safeguarding policy of the organisation.