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Regional News of Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Source: GNA

NGO empowers teenage girls through vocational skills

Salifu Issifu Kanton, the Executive Director for Community Development Alliance (CDA) Salifu Issifu Kanton, the Executive Director for Community Development Alliance (CDA)

ProNet North, a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) in the Upper West Region had supported teenage girls in the region with vocational skills training to enable them to become self-reliant.

Over 200 girls in the Jirapa Municipality had been trained and graduated while about 300 girls were about to be graduated in the Nadowli-Kaleo District and another 300 ready to be trained in the Daffiama-Bussie-Issah District.

Madam Catherine Amissah, the Deputy Director of ProNet North, revealed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Wa to the reported increasing cases of teenage pregnancy in the region.

“There are over 2,000 girls in formal school in these same districts who were initially out of school but we have prepared and brought them back to school and supporting through the process with the basic needs for them to be able to stay in school”, she added.

Madam Amissah urged parents to support their girl children to return to school rather than giving them out for marriage when they became pregnant as that would result in perpetual poverty in the family saying, “there is life after pregnancy”.

She indicated that as part of efforts to boost the income level of families and girls to help reduce the menace of teenage pregnancy, ProNet North had introduced women to businesses such as soap making to enable them to cater for the basic needs of their children.

“We do a lot of income-generating activities with parents, especially mothers and some of the girls. We introduce the girls to some minimal income-generating activities that will not disrupt their academic work.

But the point then remains that you cannot abandon school to pursue that income-generating activity, the activity is only a bolster to help you go through school”, Madam Amissah explained.

Mr Salifu Issifu Kanton, the Executive Director for Community Development Alliance (CDA), described the menace of teenage pregnancy as a development issue as it contributed to “generational poverty in a family”.

“Teenage pregnancy is a really big problem and for me, it is not just a health or education problem, it’s a development problem.

“The more our girls get pregnant and drop out of school, the more likely our region will continue to be poor even in the next decades”, he said.

Mr Kanton called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to help curb the menace and said his organization had supported out-of-school teenage girls, particularly those who had suffered pregnancy, to return to school while others were provided with income-generating activities.

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