NORSAAC launches PASS to empower adolescent girls
A project to empower adolescent girls to make their own choices with regard to reproductive health and economic independence has begun.
The year-long project dubbed: “Promoting Adolescent Safe Space” (PASS), also seeks to sustain inter-generational dialogue to ensure that households and communities can understand and support adolescents’ needs.
Adolescent girls aged 10 – 19 years are the beneficiaries of the project being implemented in six assemblies including West Mamprusi, Mamprugu-Moaduri, Bole, Tatali-Sangule, and Tolon in the North East, Savannah and Northern Regions.
It is being implemented by NORSACC, a non-governmental organisation, in partnership with Ghana Health Service, and Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, with funding from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
A stakeholders’ inception meeting on the project was held at Walewale in the West Mamprusi Municipality to update partners on what was required of them as well as discuss other issues pertaining to the project to ensure its successful implementation.
Madam Hafsatu Sey Sumani, Head of Programmes and Policy of NORSAAC, who elaborated on the project during the stakeholders meeting, said its ultimate aim was to end child marriage as well as contribute to country specific data on child protection issues.
She said under the project, girls would be grouped to discuss issues that affected them as adolescents in the areas of reproductive health amongst others as well as improve their inter-personal and communication skills to enable them to make their own choices.
Participants spoke about some of the issues related to the PASS project, which included high rate of teenage pregnancies, lack of collaboration amongst state agencies in the discharge of their duties and poor funding of state agencies in the Municipality, which affected their efficiency.
A representative of the Chief of Walewale, and focal persons from the five communities in the Municipality where the project is being implemented took turns to commit to working assiduously to reduce teenage pregnancies and child marriages in the Municipality to ensure success of the project.
Mr Abdul Wahab Ibrahim, West Mamprusi Municipal Director of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development called for effective collaboration amongst mandated state institutions and stakeholders to ensure maximum results as well as realise the objectives of the project.
He lauded NORSAAC for initiating the project, saying it complemented efforts of the government to promote the welfare of children in the country.