Stakeholders urged to be dynamic in guiding adolescents

BY: Rejoice Lavinia Eklu
 The Ambassador of Switzerland to Ghana, Benin and Togo, Mr Philipp Stalder
The Ambassador of Switzerland to Ghana, Benin and Togo, Mr Philipp Stalder

The Founder of Discovery Teens Foundation, a non-governmental policy and social initiative organisation, Ms Mercy Adjabeng, has advised stakeholders to adopt a strategic and dynamic approach to guiding adolescents grow to become meaningful adults.

She said talking to adolescents all the time and pointing out their flaws were not the only ways to guide them.

“We have a responsibility to ensure the needed systems and processes are in place to help adolescents navigate the transition to become productive adults.

“This is the only way to ensure these potential change makers are guided to become the human capital that would ensure the sustainable development this country needs,” she said.

Dialogue

Ms Adjabeng was speaking at a discovery of stakeholders dialogue on adolescent issues in Accra.

The dialogue was themed, “safeguarding the future of Ghana’s adolescents: A conversation among stakeholders”.

It was supported by the Switzerland government and the UNFPA.

The meeting brought together students and stakeholders, including teachers, parents, non-governmental organisations and individuals from the religious, human right and justice fraternity.

The topics discussed included, “Adolescent process and need for specialised healthcare, “Preventing child abuse and violence, “Impact of social media on adolescents and “Helping the adolescent combine education and talent”.

Experiences

The Ambassador of Switzerland to Ghana, Benin and Togo, Mr Philipp Stalder, observed that young people sometimes experienced loneliness, insecurity and feeling of frustration that needed to be addressed.

He said there was the need to empower young people to be innovative in order to solve societal problems.

“We can empower the youth and better implement the commitment for entrepreneurship. Do not think that working on a small and local scale is not worth any effort,” he said.

Focus

The Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ms Diana Asonaba Dapaah, urged young people not to lose focus of their aims and goals.

“Do not sacrifice your future and ambitions for temporary gratification or many pleasures. Focus on your aim and be diligent at what you do,” she advised.

For his part, a Resident Doctor at the Department of Family Medicine at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Rev. Dr Ernest Anim Opare, said good health was not merely the absence of disease but about the complete physical, mental and social wellbeing of an individual.

Special unit

Dr Opare suggested that there should be a special unit designated at health facilities for addressing various adolescent issues ranging from physical, emotional to school challenges.

“There should be that place that adolescents can walk to any time to have their concerns addressed,” he said.

Social media contents

For her part, a Lawyer and advocate of women and children’s right, Ms Marian Darlington, entreated adolescents to be conscious of the information they consumed on various social media and networking platforms because some of the information was toxic, saying, “we all need to be careful about online presence.”