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General News of Sunday, 12 October 2003

Source: GNA

Chief commends NGO for rescuing "Trokosi" girls

Adidome, (V/R), Oct. 12, GNA - Togbi Kwesinyi Agyeman IV, Chief of Adidome in the North-Tongu District on Saturday commended International Needs (IN), Ghana and its foreign partners for their efforts at giving meaning to the lives of young women and girls especially in communities in the district.

He was speaking at the commissioning of a 780 million cedi administrative block and a two apartment teachers' bungalow at the International Needs Ghana Vocational Training Institute (INGVTI) at Adidome, the only such school in the district.

Evangelische Omroep Metterda of Holland funded the projects. He observed that from a humble beginning the activities of the organisation had assumed greater dimensions by positively transforming the outlook of young women in the area and enhanced the stature of Adidome.

Togbi Agyeman implored the leadership of the organisation to carry on with its good work and disregard anonymous letters aimed at discouraging them from pursuing their noble objectives. He implored the authors of such letters to desist from the act, come forward and offer their suggestions and give development a chance in the district. About 12 years ago IN Ghana, began the crusade to free, and give vocational training and Christian spiritual guidance to girls and women who as young virgins were bonded to various shrines as "trokosi" to atone for the crimes allegedly committed by some members of their families.

The INGVTC offers free tuition and boarding to the young girls and women and provides them with tools and machines to establish on their own.

Reverend Walter Pimpong, Executive Director of IN Ghana said, in addition to training the former "trokosi" women to become productive, his organisation had also established 69 micro-credit groups in eleven communities in the district.

A water project has also taken off in some communities, 80 HIV/AIDS peer counsellors were also trained for a number of communities in addition to the construction of a new school block at Kebenu, while "a small agricultural project" is in the offing.

Rev Pimpong, said plans were also "far advanced to site a modern clinic in one of the villages. "This centre will be the hub of our activities in the surrounding districts, and accommodate our research centre." He, however, cautioned that anonymous letters risked discouraging well-meaning organisations from coming to help "and you will be the losers."