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Regional News of Sunday, 22 August 2021

Source: gna.org.gh

Invest your time and energy into research- Adolescents told

Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, Volta Regional Director, Department of Gender Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, Volta Regional Director, Department of Gender

Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, Volta Regional Director, Department of Gender, has called on young people to abstain from sex, pornographic materials and any act that has the tendency to jeopardise their lives and retard their development.

She asked them to invest their time and energy into studies and research and be committed to their education and pursue it with all seriousness and determination to attain greater heights in life.

Mrs Kpe, speaking at this year's Adolescent Mentorship and Empowerment Programme, held in Ho, admonished the younger generation to, “Love the Lord” and seek his guidance so they could navigate through life with ease.

She charged them to be self-disciplined, eschew all forms of violence, be one another's keeper, and develop healthy hobbies that positively engage their mind and choose good role models that would assist them to achieve their goals and aspirations.

On sexual and reproductive health issues, Mrs Kpe advised them to make good use of Ghana Health Service's (GHS) adolescent corners in their communities to have them addressed so they would remain healthy and productive.

Mrs Kpe described as worrying, the rise in Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and teenage pregnancy in the country, and called for concerted efforts to deal with the issue.

She said teenage pregnancy continued to truncate future dreams and aspirations of many adolescents, especially girls, therefore, “there is the need for greater focus on the development of this population group by seriously addressing the daunting challenges that confront them.”

Madam Enyonam Afi Amafuga, Volta Regional Director of Education, in a speech read on her behalf by Mr Francis Mensah Vidzro, Training Officer at the Directorate, emphasised the need for proper planning and management to achieve great success.

She said planning and management were important principles useful for the rapid development of individuals an
d institutions, and called on the youth to make these principles part and parcel of their daily undertakings.

Madam Amafuga said though globalisation had made it easy for individuals including students to have access to information on television sets, social media among others, some of the information meant for adult consumption, ended up in the hands of students.

The Director noted that the use of this information has made some students, “very confused” and therefore began to put up unacceptable behaviours that did not conform to “our norms, tradition and cultural heritage.”

She commended the organisers of the adolescent mentorship and empowerment programme as it aimed at addressing some of these challenges and position the young people on the right path to make meaningful progress.

Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, whose speech was read by Mr Gershon Gley, said it was important to empower the young people to enhance the country's future human resource potential for an inclusive national development.

He said the future of adolescents was so dear to the heart of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC), and therefore, they would not relent in the efforts to roll out programmes with relevant stakeholders and partners to educate and empower them on issues affecting their development and well-being.

Madam Adjoa Yenyi, Programmes Specialist, UNFPA, said the Fund would continue to support activities geared towards developing the potential of young people.

She implored the participants to be careful how they use social media to avoid exposing themselves to things that could endanger their progress.

Madam Vivian Adafia, Public Health Nurse, Ho Municipal Health Directorate, said some service providers were trained in the various districts to provide effective services to adolescents including counseling and family planning, and urged adolescents to visit health facilities anytime they had a challenge regarding their reproductive health.

The two-day programme was dubbed; “Accelerate action to end adolescent pregnancy and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the wake of COVID-19: Time is now!”

A total of 60 adolescents, made up of 20 boys and 40 girls from five districts including South Dayi, North Dayi, Afadjato South, Akatsi North, Central Tongu benefitted from the programme, with sponsorship from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The programme was aimed to equip the beneficiaries with the requisite knowledge, skills and empower them to become much more confident and assertive to serve as peer educators and advocates on SGBV, adolescent sexual reproductive health, child marriage, career guidance among others.

Some participants who spoke to the Ghana News Agency said the programme was educative and has built their confidence level and pledged to be good advocates and ambassadors in their various communities and were grateful to the organisers.

The participants were provided with sanitary pads and those with outstanding performance received additional special awards.

They were taken through topics including SGBV, rights and responsibilities of an adolescent child, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, cause of teenage pregnancy, how to address teenage pregnancy, career choices, personal hygiene and safety protocols against COVID-19.

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