Mr Emmanuel Kwafo Mintah, the Project Director of the Ark Development Organisation (ADO) has called on parents and guardians to pay serious attention to the development of their children.
Mr Mintah made the call at the launch of a Safe and Protective Environment for Adolescent Development (SPREAD) Project at Ofoase in the Akyemansa District of the Eastern Region.
Present at the programme were chiefs, queen mothers, pastors, Imams, parents, guardians and government officials from Akyemansa and its environs.
Mr Mintah said the project was aimed at increasing understanding of violence and harmful practices that affect children, especially girls and to prevent them while responding to child marriage and economic empowerment.
The project is being supported by UNICEF in partnership with Global Affairs Canada and would be implemented in 40 communities in the Akyemansa District.
Mr Mintah said the project location was selected because of the alarming rate of teenage pregnancy and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
He said to address issues affecting children in the district, ADO intended to use innovative approaches such as; town hall meetings, young people’s parliament, edutainment, community dialogues, sensitizations at churches, mosques, markets, local media to stimulate behavioural change.
“The project will also utilize digital platforms and social media to engage adolescents and young people to deliver key sexual reproductive health (SRH) information to adolescents, engage them on SRH and SGBV issues in safe spaces, and ignite their interest,” he stated.
Mr Paul Asamoah, the District Chief Executive of Akyemansa said teenage pregnancy was a menace in the area and needed to be addressed with all efforts.
He said; “Though institutions such as; the Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service and the Department of Social Welfare were doing their best in tackling the problem more needed to be done to complement their efforts.”
Mr Asamoah expressed gratitude to UNICEF and ADO for selecting the Akeymansa District for such intervention and pledged the Assembly’s support to the project.
Nana Adusei Gyimah Kentinka, Chief of Ofoase pledged his support to the project and appealed to the citizenry to also throw their weight behind it to make it a success.
“The project has come to inculcate in our children the sense of belongingness, respect and the good practices of our culture and tradition so that they would grow to uphold them,” he noted.