UNFPA Holds Graduation And Induction Ceremony For YoLe Cohort 4 and 5 Fellows in Accra

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UNFPA Ghana held a joint ceremony for the Graduation and Induction of the 4th and 5th Cohort of Youth Leaders (YoLe) Fellows, aimed at empowering young people to ensure that every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

The programme also focused on recognizing the contribution and impact of the 4th cohort of youth leader fellows (YoLe Fellowship) in the areas of zero gender-based violence, zero unmet need, and zero preventable maternal death, among others, within their one-year service in that regard.

As 22 youth leader fellows successfully graduated from the 4th cohort, 33 new entrants were also inducted into 5th cohort.

This programme was instituted by the UNFPA Ghana Country Office, under the leadership of the Country Representative, Dr. Wilfred Ochan.

Speaking at the event, which took place on 15th December, 2023, at La palm Royal Beech Hotel in Accra, UNFPA Country Representative, Dr Wilfred Ochan said his outfit believes in a world where every young person’s potential is fulfilled. This according to him, led to the introduction of the COHORT Programme over the past 5 years.

According to him, UNFPA seek to enable our youth to acquire all the skills needed to thrive in this fast-changing global space of innovation and Digitalization. Stressing that the importance of the youth leaders as fellows of UNFPA, is one way the organization has chosen to demonstrate its commitment to enable youth leadership across the country.

“You have the world at your fingertips, and your ability to harness the power of technology can drive change at a transformative pace. Be fearless in embracing new ideas, and be the driving force behind the integration of innovation into our mission,” Dr. Wilfred stressed.

Dr. Ochan, however urged all the YoLe Fellows to see themselves as torchbearers of a movement that is breaking barriers and challenging norms of which is the holistic approach of equipping them with knowledge and skills in leadership and advocacy.

He tasked the fellows to be advocates for change, challenge harmful practices like female genital mutilation and child marriage, and contribute to creating a world where every individual, regardless of gender or disability, can live free from violence and discrimination.

Delivering the acceptance speech on behalf of the Youth and Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif, Ms. Francisca Atuluk, the Deputy Director at the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS), opined that government of Ghana led by Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, has initiated a lot of programmes which seeks in building a sense of nationalism among the youth.

The National Youth Authority under the MOYS through its national youth policy, is leading the charge to facilitate the development of the youth through various initiatives which seek to enhance the capacity of youth to secure a future for sustainable development.

She said the fellowship has remained an innovative initiative that has continued to provide young people with opportunities for professional and career development, including training in driving health innovations to solve prevailing problems.

According to her, statistics indicate that in Ghana, approximately 57% of the population is under the age of 25, representing a tremendous asset for the country’s development through its youthful demographic advantage.

The importance of the programme to her, is geared towards supporting the government of Ghana’s priorities on youth development and economic and financial empowerment of young people, entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, youth in agriculture, youth migration and mobility, and sexual and reproductive health, citing the transformational successes chalked by the YoLe Fellowship over the past five years.

She commended UNFPA and reemphasized that, the collaboration between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNFPA Ghana is key and unique. As such, the programmes implemented has positively impacted the lives of young people across the country, and also demonstrated how partnerships can drive positive change.

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