The Rural Initiative for Self-Empowerment – Ghana (RISE-Ghana), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the Upper East Region has equipped young leaders with skills and knowledge to defend their rights.
The 40 young pupils, drawn from 11 schools in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality, Pusiga and Kassena-Nankana West Districts comprised 10 males and 30 females who formed the “He-for-she” clubs with 11 club facilitators.
They were taught to be assertive, to defend their rights, and taken through leadership skills to enable them undertake advocacy among their peers and in their respective communities.
The training was part of activities under the ‘Enough Project’ implemented by OXFAM, WILDAF and RISE-Ghana with funding support from the European Union.
Madam Jaw-Haratu Amadu, the Head of Programmes, RISE-Ghana, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during the two-day training workshop, said the ‘Enough Project’ started three years ago with the aim to end Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Ghana.
“As part of the project, we have been engaging community leaders, Chiefs, Queen mothers and the media, all geared towards protecting children in our communities and ensure that survivors of gender-based violence are able to get justice,” she said.
Madam Amadu noted that owing to the rising cases of child abuse including defilement, there was the urgent need to build the confidence of the pupils to help them to defend their rights and report abuses on them to the appropriate institutions for redress.
She said legal literacy volunteers were also trained in communities to disseminate information about SGBV, advocate against same, and assist victims of SGBV to report to the appropriate institutions for justice.
She said the project would end next year and was hopeful that based on its gains, it would subsequently be scaled-up to other Districts in the Region.
Madam Georgina Abers-Ako, the Upper East Regional Director of the Department of Children, who schooled the pupils on their rights and responsibilities as children, emphasised the need for children to be taught their rights.
She said “Rights go with responsibilities but mostly children are interested in the rights and not their responsibility. If a child has the right to education, then definitely, the child has the responsibility to perform well in class.”
Madam Aberese-Ako urged the pupils to share the knowledge they had acquired during the project and in the two-day training workshop with their peers in other schools and communities.
Some of the pupils told the GNA that they were hitherto knowledge deficient on their rights and responsibilities, but through the efforts of RISE-Ghana, other implementing partners and their sponsors, they had been educated.