A two-day validation and capacity building workshop on the updated child marriage toolkit for field workers has opened in Kumasi.
The workshop which was put together by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is to allow participants to validate the content of the updated toolkit and to also build their capacities on its use.
Representatives from the Department of Gender and civil society organisations working in the area of child marriage across the country attended the workshop.
The UNFPA updated the toolkit in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) based on feedback from the field, emerging trends and best practices to ensure the expected results are achieved.
The expectation is that the reviewed toolkit would be user-friendly for facilitators at both the community level and engagements with other stakeholders to make the needed impact during child marriage sessions.
Mrs Sheila Minkah-Premo, a Consultant for the Project, who is also putting together the updated toolkit, took participants through the manual to adequately equip them for effective advocacy.
She said the country had made progress in the fight against child marriage but much more needed to be done to bring the practice to the barest minimum.
Child marriage, she noted, robbed victims of the chance to get education to escape poverty and stressed the need for stakeholders to take a keen interest in the advocacy.
She reminded the participants that they were not psychotherapists and should always focus on how to put their messages across without imposing their ideologies on the audience.
Mrs Minka-Premo advised the participants not to be judgemental and emotional in their facilitations because of some particular situations in a community to win the trust of the audience.
“Sometimes when you are facilitating in a community where you have some knowledge about how child marriage is rife, you may feel like shaking them up but if they see that you are being judgemental they won’t cooperate,” she observed.
The participants made recommendations which they believed could make the final toolkit easy to use.