The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with Ms. Claudia Lumor, the Honourary Ambassador of the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) Ghana and the Eye Foundation on Tuesday, September 2, 2020 held Friends of UNFPA Inaugural meeting and field visit, which started from Efua Sutherland Park through Kantamanto, Makola and ended at Kempinski hotel in Accra.
UNFPA together with the Eye Foundation engaged over 500 vulnerable and street youth at the Efua Sutherland park, Kantamanto and Makola to make a donation of assorted items. The items included, Toothpaste, toothbrushes, Nose masks, Cloths, Hands sanitizers, Rice, Oil, canned fish and more.
Presenting the items, Madam Adjoa Amana, the CEO of Eye Foundation stated that the donation was to show love and offer hope to the street boys and girls in the area.
The organization according to her, offered education and support to the brilliant but needy, especially the girl-child in deprived communities and called other NGOs to emulate same.
Madam Adjoa Amana, added that the organization since its inception over the years, had help and donated to some villages, children’s home, including Kantamanto, Opeibea, Efua Sutherland children’s park, independent avenue and supported some street youth in the tertiary level.
The inaugural meeting hosted at the Kimpinski hotel saw in attendance Traditional rulers, Academia, Clergy, the media and Business leaders, among others. This was to support the work of UNFPA in delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Making a presentation on “How do i contribute as a friend” Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, the country Representative of UNFPA Ghana, acknowledged his responsibility to create awareness on UNFPA’s mandate issues which he however cannot do alone. “It is for this single reason that I am mobilising all who are interested and passionate about issues affecting women and girls as well as young people in general.
Together we can advocate for an enabling environment and champion support towards realising the UNFPA transformative goals of ending unmet need for family planning, ending preventable maternal deaths and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices,” he said.
￼Mr. Ojuolape, commended Eye Foundation on their work in empowering Adolescent Girls Programme and also pledged continued support. He equally intimated the need for commitment by the “friends” to ensure that initiatives put forward by the groups are sustained in the future.
￼The ‘Friends of UNFPA’ will exist as a broad partnership of opinion leaders including development partners, traditional rulers, the Media , religious leaders, academics as well as celebrity influencers and members of the diplomatic community who are interested in championing the interest of women and girls, including young people for the defence of their human rights and maximization of their potentials.
He said, Friends of UNFPA’s aim is advocating and creating an enabling ecosystem of developing partners, to serve as allies to advocate about the issues of sexual and gender based violence as well as reproductive health and rights, harmful practices and the empowerment of young people through the adolescent girls agenda of the organization in Ghana.
On his part, UNFPA Deputy County Representative Dr. Agnes Ntibanyurwa, noted that UNFPA’s mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young persons potential is fulfilled.
Ending preventable maternal death, She said maternal mortality ratio in Ghana as at 2015 stands at 319 to 100,000 live births. For every woman who dies, an estimated 20 to 30 encounter injuries and disabilities. Adding that most of these deaths and injuries are entirely preventable.
Making a presentation on ending unmet need for family planning, Dr. Ntibanyurwa stressed that women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe and effective family planning methods.
To her, 36% of married girls between 15-19 and 61% of unmarried girls who want to avoid pregnancy are unable to access family planning methods (MICS 2018). She said this threatens their ability to build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
To help prevent unwanted pregnancy, UNFPA supports Family planning by ensuring a steady, reliable supply of quality contraceptives; strengthening national health systems; advocating for policies supportive of family planning and gathering data for evidence based work.
Touching on Investing in young people, Dr. Agnes explained that today’s generation of young people is absolutely massive: some 1.8 billion people are between ages of 10 and 24. And every day in developing countries, 20,000 girls under age 18 give birth. Adding that, “In Ghana, 1 in 5 girls marry before the age of 18 which is a bad situation we need to deal with.”