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Regional News of Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Source: GNA

CSOs inaugurate programme to promote voices of children in Ashanti Region

'It seeks to mobilize children to form mock parliaments' 'It seeks to mobilize children to form mock parliaments'

A programme meant to raise the voices and assist children to take part in decision making at all levels, has been out-doored in Kumasi.

Dubbed “Children’s Parliament” it is being implemented by the Defence for Children International (DCI) Ghana and Rights and Responsibilities Initiative Ghana (RRIG), both child rights NGOs, under the Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) Project.

It seeks to mobilise children aged 12-18 to form mock parliaments to share ideas, know their rights, respect each other’s views and ensure peace amongst themselves in their communities and schools.

Madam Aba Oppong, Executive Director for RRIG, speaking at the inauguration of the programme in Kumasi, said there were a profound change in paradigms related to child participation, with decision-makers changing their perception of children as objects of protection, to agents of change and rights-holders.

The Children’s Parliaments, she noted, were solid platforms aimed at building foundations from which decision-making processes that were more collaborative and inclusive for children and young people, would be promoted.

It is also an initiative to encourage children to understand the various processes in decision-making and appreciate the importance of taking important and sound decisions in all sectors.

Madam Oppong said once children imbibe good decision-making and make good judgement at the tender age, they would grow with and shun unjust politics and decisions, which was the bane of the country’s development.

She said under the programme, Children’s Parliaments were formed in schools located in the Kumasi Metropolis, Obuasi, Bekwai and Asokore Mampong Municipalities, all in Ashanti.

Madam Oppong called on the government to appreciate the initiative from CSOs and said the programme could be replicated in all schools to help build the capacities of children and encourage them to shape their thoughts on national issues, while at the same time, making informed judgements.

She encouraged parents to support their children who opted to engage in issues of the “Children’s Parliament”.

Madam Oppong, however, advised parents not to force their wards who were not interested to be members of the programme.

Madam Justina Moo, Ejisu Municipal Director of the Department of Social Welfare, advised children who were part of the “Children’s Parliament” to take their studies seriously and set good examples for others to follow.

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