The Acting Country Director of Plan International Ghana (an international Non-Governmental Organization which seeks to protect the rights of children and shape them for better future), Mr. Asum Kwarteng Ahensah, has passionately called on all parents to be up and standing, charging them to their core responsibility of ensuring their wards are effectively guided through the right path of growth for better future.
Mr. Asum, was interacting with a section of the media in an interview at the Plan International, Girls Advocacy Alliance’s (GAA), 2018 Girls’ Camp held in Accra over the week. The programme was organized in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES) at the GNAT Hotel in Nungua- a suburb of Accra from Monday August 20th, to Friday August 24th, 2018. It was held under the theme: “Empowering Girls To Thrive- The Responsibility Of All.”
It was a very effective educative camp which was participated by about 100 students from the Ashanti, Northern, Eastern and the Upper West regions of Ghana.
In his submission, Mr. Kwarteng, lamented how some parents of today have busily engaged themselves with work and money making and have totally shirked their responsibilities of training and guiding their children in the right path of life that would lead to the betterment of their future.
Although the Director, appreciated how technology in our time is helping modify the world and helping to emerge the globe into one large village for fast development, he was however quick to also bemoan how the youth of today are speedily abusing the use of Social Media to crush their otherwise brighter future without any parental supervision or guidance.
“Although technology is good, it is also our duties as parents, teachers and adults to educate these young one on the side effect of it use, when abused, and rather direct them to make good use of the venture to help improve themselves positively for better future, and not to just watch them unconcerned to abuse the opportunity to destroy their lives,” he urged all hands to come on board.
And also appealed to all concerned citizens and our opinion leaders and religious leaders not to only use their platforms to preach prosperity and miracles, but also help campaign effectively against gender based violence to save our women and numerable girls for national development.
Throwing more light on the workshop, the Project Manager for the Girls Advocacy Alliance Project-Madam Anna Mabere, outlined the objectives of the 2018 camp as follows; To expose girls to issues affecting their growth and development and teach them how to resists them.
To equip girls with skills to advocate for equal rights and opportunities for themselves and their peers.
To build girls self-confidence to believe in their abilities to succeed in their future endeavors.
To let girls share their experiences on Gender Based Violence (GBV) and learn how to prevent them.
She unearthed that, Plan International recognizes and stresses the importance of carrying out preventive actions and setting up protective measures and effective mechanisms that can ensure care, support and protection of girls from all forms of abuse.
Anna, emphasized that, one of those mechanisms is the creation of safe spaces like girl camps, where girls can confidently interact on their issues and get empowered. Thus the initiative of organizing a girls’ camp from August 20th to 24th, 2018.
The Manager, observed that, although they are lots of challenges in organizing the camp, the venture, is worth it stress, so far as it is effectively achieving its purpose ever since it was initiated by Plan and its partners over the years.
She commended all her partners and dignitaries present to grace the occasion for their support and charged the girls to also take their knowledge acquired from the camp out to their various regions and schools to go and also educate their peers on how to protect and defend themselves against violence.
And advised them to take seriously their studies and refrain from sexual engagement at their age, which could result in teenage pregnancy to end their brighter future. She called on children to be respectful and focus on how to make the future a better place with the least opportunity granted them.
Also on her part, Head of communications for Plan International Ghana, Madam Christiana Asante- Nkansah, who touched on the issue of Gender Based Violence, emphasized that, girls’ rights are human rights, noting that, all children and young people, including girls, have the fundamental human right to live free from violence.
However, she recorded that, gender-based violence remain predominant and it disproportionately affects girls and women, observing that the root causes of gender-based violence are discriminatory social norms and unequal power dynamics between men and women.
Christy, perceived that changing these deep-rooted norms and attitudes that normalize and excuse violence against girls and women is critical to ending gender-based violence.
The Communication Specialist, lamented the fact that, a lot of young girls who could not have the opportunity be equipped with such knowledge as acquired from the camp to help protect themselves, have sadly and eventually fallen victims to these illegal practices of sexual abuse, domestic violence and been traded into early marriages that had ended their education and shattered their future for good.
The concerned woman, on that lamentation, charged the government, policy makers and all concerned agencies working towards the protection of children, especially the girl who are always vulnerable and discriminated against in many regards, to be up and standing to ensure that the laws are strictly enforced to properly prosecute all perpetuators of child rights abuses to serve as deterrent to all.
Ending her submission, Christiana, commended all Plan International management, staffs, dignitaries, invited guests, all stakeholders, partners and the participants for helping make this year’s Girls’ Camp a success and very effective.
source: Modernafrika.com/ Nana Effei