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General News of Thursday, 15 August 2019


We are ignorant of adolescents’ sexuality needs - Parents

Parents of refugees who are attending a three-day training programme on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), have admitted to their initial ignorance of adolescents' sexuality needs.

They said the training has enhanced their knowledge and widened their scope of understanding on why their adolescent children behave the way they do.

Madam Anne Marie Api, a Parent from the said group, said she never took the pain to learn about adolescent sexuality because she did not have any from her parents.

This she said, cost her a great deal when growing up as a young girl, as she faced several challenges, hence her decision to become a peer educator in her community.

"There is a lot of work for us parents to be done because, now there are a lot of things happening to our children and they need our support and guidance. Sex has become a big issue especially for our girls and with the right education we can help them otherwise we will lose them," she said.

Madam Api however attributed the widespread social challenges currently being faced by the youth to the lack of education and proper parental guidance regarding comprehensive knowledge of their sexuality, saying majority of parents like herself never had the opportunity of knowing how their bodies worked and the changes at the time.

The joint Programme, which is being organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Agency for Refugees (UNHCR), with funding from the Canadian Government, seeks to empower some selected youth and parents from refugee camps in the Central, Western, Bono and Greater Accra Regions, on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), the use of Interactive theatre and Parent-Child Communication respectively.

This would provide participants with the required information, education and skills to become trainers and peer educators in their respective communities to complement existing programmes and interventions by institutions such as the Ghana Health Service.

Mr Zouhou Dieudonne, also a participating in the Parent group, said he has been a Peer Educator in the Agyeikrom Refugee Camp in the Central Region, for some time now, however the present training served as a booster to his knowledge on Parent-Child communication, to be able to expand support to adolescent children in his area, to overcome some of the challenges they faced.

He thanked the organisers and sponsors for their support, and called for the sustainability of such interventions.

Earlier in the day, Ms Juliana Bola, a 22-year old lady from the Fertenta Refugee camp in the Bono Region, also admitted that CSE was crucial for adolescents as it provided them with the required information on their right to the required services to make informed choices and decisions.

She spoke about the need for adolescents to have access to Family Planning services including contraceptives.

"I wrote my West African Senior Secondary Examination (WASSE) without some of my friends because they got pregnant and couldn't continue their education," she said.

Ms Bola said with the training she was receiving now, she could boldly help her community by mentoring others to sustain education and support especially her peers to regain control over their lives.