One hundred girls of the Prisons School Complex in Tamale, as well as their parents have been declared Child Marriage Ambassadors, after they successfully went through sessions and training of female empowerment to identify the warning signs and symptoms of child and forced marriages including how to prevent them.
This was after ten months of intensive information sharing with the beneficiaries both face to face and through mobile phone technology where they are sent audio and text messages with topics around child marriage, teenage pregnancy, menstruation and abortion, sexual abuse, girl child education among others.
In May 2019, WUZDA Ghana launched a project funded by Mundo Cooperante in Spain, dubbed After 24 Years Before Marriage, simplified as ‘A24Y’, to drum home the need for parents and stakeholders to pay more attention to the education of the girl child and not marry her off before she attains age 24.
This became necessary as especially in the northern parts of Ghana, girls are still being forced against their will to get married even at tender ages without skill training or higher education which can earn them a career job.
The project, which is being piloted for one year is targeting one hundred girls of the Prisons School Complex in Tamale and either of the parents of each girl child, making one hundred parents in total.
Through the project, WUZDA Ghana acquired mobile phones for the girls to allow for them to be able to receive the messages sent to them on information regarding the subject of child marriage and girl child education.
Menstrual materials have also been distributed to the girls to allow for them to conveniently stay in school during their period days.
As part of the menstrual materials given to the girls, a clock was presented to each child to enable her calculate and track her menstrual cycle.
After ten months of going through this whole process, the girls and their parents have been declared child marriage ambassadors who are expected to spread the message and how the act damages the future of the girl child.
Radio shows were crafted on the various topics with the aim to disseminate broader information to the general public on the negative benefits of child and forced marriages, as well as court their support towards the campaign of ending the menace.
At the last radio show on the project, the leaders of various girl clubs at the Prisons School Complex were heard campaigning strongly against child and forced marriages, echoing the negative outcomes of the menace, as they called on the general society to join the campaign to ending child marriage.
The ‘After 24 Years Before Marriage’ or A24Y Project ends in April 2020, with the aim of being up scaled and expanded to other schools for more impact in the near future.