UNICEF, UNFPA PLEDGED CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR GHANA TO END CHILD MARRIAGES

SOGAKOE, The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) have pledged their continuous support to help end child marriages in Ghana and ensure that young girls stay in school to complete their studies.

They say young girls of school-going age must be helped to delay marriage and child bearing to enable them to complete their education and in order to ensure this, UNPFA is partnering with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) to implement an integrated safe space model known as SISTA Initiative in two districts of Volta Region (Province0.

Unicef, meanwhile, is partnering the Department of Social Welfare, the Girls Education Office, the Department of Community Development and Seek to Save Foundation, a local non-governmental organization (NGO), to provide second-chance education for young mothers.

Satvika Chalassani, from the Technical Division of UNFPA Headquarters in New York, said this when she paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Fievie Dugame and the elders of the South Tongu District in Volta Region this week as part of a working visit to Sogakope to acquaint herself with the SISTA Initiative.

She commended PPAG for the initiative which is helping girls to delay their age of marriage and child bearing. The initiative is anchored on Ghana's Adolescent Reproductive and Health Policy which outlines a package to reduce the vulnerability of girls to teenage pregnancy and to galvanise relevant stakeholders and community actors to collaborate to end child marriage.

A UNFPA-Unicef team, made up of representatives from the Steering Committee of the Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, is in Ghana for its first meeting.

The SISTA Initiative is a model implemented in Central, Volta, Ashanti, Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions. Through the initiative, a total of 32,246 adolescent girls aged 10 to 19 years have been reached, with about 10 per cent either being married or cohabitating at the start of the project.

It provides a platform for young girls, aged 10 to 19, to be empowered with health and socio-economic assets to ensure they fulfil their potentials.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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