Right to Play (RTP), an international child centered non- governmental Organization (NGO) has launched a sexual health and reproductive Education Project dubbed: “SHARE”, in Navrongo in the Kassena Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region.
The project is aimed at protecting, educating, and empowering children and youth using the power of play.
The five-year SHARE project initiative is being implemented by a consortium of partners including the Federation for African Women Educationists (FAWE), Water Aid and RTP among others and it is to be implemented in four districts of the region namely, the Bongo, Kassena Nankana West, and the Builsa North districts as well as the Kassena Nankana Municipality.
The project, which was received with pump and pageantry by the Chiefs and people of the region, was attended by school children, queen mothers of the selected areas of intervention, district, and Municipal Directors of Education,
SHEP coordinators, and District Directors of the Ghana Health Services (GHS).
Madam Josephine Mukakalis, the Country Director of RTP, said the project targeted 15,572 beneficiaries including 8,921 females, all in and out of school adolescent boys and girls.
It is designed as a gender transformative programme on human rights reproductive health, to improve particularly adolescent boys, girls, and young children.
The Country Director indicated that her outfit would use international approach and expertise put together over the years to tackle the issues that affect children in adolescence, for their development and wellbeing.
She said the outcome of the SHARE project would increase enrolment of girls and improve the wellbeing of young people especially the most marginalized adolescent girls and boys, leveraging on unique areas of expertise of partners who were into advocacy, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), child protection, girls focus groups.
She indicated that 22 per cent of children in Ghana were between 10 and 19 years and, “in Upper East Region, children of adolescence age category are the highest population of that age in the country”.
With the increased access to right to information and services, Madam Mukakalis said they were exposed to the media leading to young people taking risks, especially sexual behaviour that expose them to unprotected sex, unplanned sex unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexually transmitted diseases which affected their health.
‘We will use international approach and expertise put together over the years to tackle the issues that affect children in adolescence, for their development and wellbeing.” she noted.
She said the SHARE project was aligned to government efforts to achieve the SDGs goals 3 ,4 and 5, to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, elimination of all harmful practices and address issues of child protection particularly gender-based violence.
Mr Steven Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, said the project was timely as it would help reduce the increasing numbers of teenage pregnancies.
He thanked the RTP and its partners for the intervention and the prospects the project would bring, increasing school enrollment and addressing human related rights of children.