Adolescent Safe Spaces Project - INGH goes into 18 more communities
International Needs Ghana (INGH), a non governmental organisation committed to the development of girls, is targeting 18 new communities in the Central Region for phase five of its “Promoting Adolescents Safe Spaces Project in the Central Region.”
At an inception meeting for stakeholders for the start of the project, a project officer with the INGH, Judith Sarsah, said 18 communities in its three operative districts, including the Cape Coast metropolis, the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) and Mfantseman municipality would benefit from the project.
The project, a partnership between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), under the Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, is being implemented by INGH.
The project seeks to help girls to fully enjoy their childhood, free from risk of child marriage and help them experience healthier, safer and more empowered life transitions.
Stakeholders at the meeting were from the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the Social Welfare Department, the Department of Gender, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU).
Mrs Sarsah observed that the success of the previous phases which educated girls on adolescent reproductive health to have control of their own destiny by making choices and decisions on their sexuality, relationship formation, marriage and child bearing had informed the continuation of the project, The INGH, she said, would provide selected adolescent girls with education on various adolescent issues including sexual and gender-based violence, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights, menstrual hygiene and support them to stay in school.
49 communities benefit
Mrs Sarsah explained that already, 49 communities had benefited since the inception of the project, saying the impact on the communities had been enormous.
The Central Regional Director of Health, Richlove Amamoo, urged stakeholders to effectively collaborate to ensure adolescents, particularly girls, were protected from sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
She urged all to be vigilant and report any case of SGBV to the appropriate authorities for prompt action.
Philomena Ghartey of the KEEA Education Directorate, in a remark, said there had been considerable progress with performance in Basic Education Certificate Examination and said it could be attributable (BECE) to some of such interventions in the communities over the years.
A nurse with the KEEA health directorate, Selase Agbogah said the project had helped the health service in the area to reach out to many more adolescents with safer reproductive health lessons.
A Child Rights Team Leader with INGH, Cynthia Arday, urged all stakeholders to be vigilant and work together to ensure the protection and well-being of adolescents.