Two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have made available education and vocational training materials in support of teenage mothers and victims of child marriage in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region.
This is to aid some of them to return to school to pursue academic careers and others to go into vocational training to take back control of their lives.
Thirteen (13) of the beneficiaries received school bags, uniforms, exercise books, mathematical set and pens while 10 of the young girls were presented with sewing machines and uniforms together with undisclosed amount of cash to pay for their apprenticeship fee.
The NGOs – Community Development Alliance (CDA) and Centre for the Promotion of Democratic Governance (CENPRODEG) handed over the items at a ceremony in Gwollu.
This is part of the “Let girls learn; end child marriage project” funded by STAR Ghana – a multi-donor pooled funding mechanism.
The project seeks to stop child marriage, provide girls and young women equal rights and opportunities to live their dreams.
Mr. Yussif Issifu Kanton, the Executive Director of CDA, called for the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to prioritize education, particularly, that of the girl- child.
He said it was the way to go to lift the people out of poverty and to make their lives meaningful to themselves and the society.
He expressed worry about what he said was the “extremely low level of education” in the region, especially in the Sissala area, and said, that was to blame for the pronounced poverty there.
He asked that parents lived up to their responsibilities to children to prevent teenage pregnancy and child marriages.
The community should also do more to give adequate protection girls and to help them stay in school, he added.
Mrs. Stella Dogber, the Sissala West District Education Director, underlined the need to put premium on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to become employable.
“If your brain is not sharp enough to help you learn the theories in school your hands can help you learn practical skills that you can use to support yourself.”
She announced the setting up of a counselling unit at the district education directorate and encouraged girls with any problems to go there for support.
Mr. Alhassan Tongsuglo, a Deputy Director at the Sissala West District Assembly, said fighting child marriage was a collective responsibility.