Over 2,000 highly marginalised girls to benefit from “STAGE” project

Abrem Essiam (C/R)- More than two thousand highly marginalised and out of school young girls in the Central Region are expected to benefit from the Strategic Approaches to Girls’ Education (STAGE) project being implemented by the Ghana Red Cross Society.

STAGE is a four -year project aimed at combining two mutually supportive tracks for highly marginalized girls to bring a holistic approach to the education of girls and lower the barriers they face in all sectors of the society.

Proposed by World Education Inc, the STAGE project, under the Leave No Girl Behind (LNGB) window is being funded by the UKaid’s Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC).

It specifically targets areas where high levels of extreme poverty, in combination with deep-seated traditional and social norms exist, resulting in negative impacts on women and the education of girls.

With each cohort of beneficiaries, the project would begin with a focus on literacy, numeracy, and life skills through accelerated learning programs to get girls on track for transition into either a formal education, a vocational learning opportunity, or some form of employment.

Speaking at the launch of the project in the Central Region on Tuesday, Mr John Ekow Aidoo, Regional Manager of the Ghana Red Cross Society, said the project would establish relevant and appropriate partnerships and pathways for the successful transition of the beneficiary girls into responsible and self-reliant individuals.

He said beneficiary districts include Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA), Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira, Gomoa West and Ekumfi Districts adding that 500 girls would be selected from each district.

He said STAGE targets girls in areas that are highly vulnerable and systematically marginalized due to factors such as early marriage, pregnancies and disabilities amongst others others.

He said facilitators and master Craftsmen would be trained in gender-sensitive inclusive strategies and provided with curricula and supporting materials to meet the diverse needs of the girls.

The project will collaborate closely with partners such as Non-Formal Education Division (NFED), Girls Education Unit and Special Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to develop basic training modules and teaching and learning materials to facilitate the adequate provision of support to marginalized subgroups of girls, such as those with disabilities.

The project would also simultaneously work to sensitize communities and advocate at the national policy level to challenge contextual barriers affecting the education of girls.

In this regard, he said, peer education models involving adolescent girls with boys as allies would be established to work with youth and adult male-led community sensitization campaigns to promote positive behavior change and engage both the public and private sectors to provide opportunities beyond the learning programs.

Mr Aidoo said enough measures have been put in place to ensure the successful implementation of the project and urged the beneficiary communities to own the project and offer the necessary support to the girls.

Mrs Dora Ewusi, Safeguarding Officer of the Ghana Red Cross Society, urged the beneficiary communities to help create a conducive environment to enable the girls complete their courses with ease.

She expressed concern about the rising reports of sexual and other forms of abuses against women and girls in the society.

She said Red Cross as a downstream partner of the STAGE project has put in place relevant safeguarding principles to ensure that there is a conducive environment for learning.

Mr Noble Ebo Kinful, a Retired Educationist, who chaired the function underscored the importance of vocational education and urged the beneficiaries to carefully attend to the expectations of their course.

Source: Ghana News Agency