Planning meeting for the anticipated “Optimized After 24 Years – Policy Prioritization as a Factor” Project has been held purposely to streamline activities for field implementation to commence.
The 12 – month A24Y Scale – up project, funded by our partner in Spain, Mundo Cooperante, is aimed at contributing to enriching policy implementation of the Ghana Strategic Framework on Ending Child Marriage, as well as other strategic documents on the development and protection of the rights of the girl child.
The planning meeting was aimed at considering the steps needed in entering the target communities of the project and to foster a cordial relationship between implementers and stakeholders alike.
The assemblyman for the Jentong Electoral Area under the Salaga North District of the Savannah Region, Inusah Hamzah Lansah who represented the District Assembly at the meeting, gave assurances of the government body’s utmost commitment to ensuring the objective of the project is achieved.
The ‘Right to be a Girl – After 24 Years before Marriage” Project, which had a main objective of “strengthening the knowledge/ skills in 100 girls, and 100 parents to allow the girls acquire tertiary education before going into marriage with a man of their choice”, brought out a number of issues regarding the environment in which girls are expected to grow and develop.
The “Right to be a Girl – A24Y” Project which was a girl empowerment project implemented by WUZDA Ghana from April, 2019 to April, 2020, was aimed primarily at contributing to the fight against Early and Forced Girl Child Marriages, with Girls of the Prisons School Complex in Tamale as direct beneficiaries.
In the pilot project, WUZDA Ghana held series of sessions and interactions on Child Marriage, including causes and effects, which raised the understanding of the girls on the subject matter, as well as how to identify a potential Child Marriage case around them and what to do at their level to help the victim, if they are not the one affected.
Through these series of activities and interactions, the girls also had their confidence levels raised to allow for them to appropriately report potential cases of EFGCM either related to them, or a random case in their communities.
The ‘Right to be a Girl – A24Y” Project also built the confidence of the young girls regarding their menstruation and menstrual cycles.
Training sessions were organized on how they could make do with reusable menstrual pads and panties, where they were shown how to wash the pads and reuse them to cater for the problem of girls staying out of school during their menstruation, because their parents or guardians cannot afford to buy the sanitary commodity for them.
The final activity on the “Right to be a Girl – After 24 Years Before Marriage” Project saw a forum which brought together child development stakeholders such as the Social Welfare department, Department of Women and Girls, National Commission on Civic Education and others, to deliberate all the activities carried out on the project, and look for a way forward for a better environment for the growth of girls and for better education for them.
The main focus of the forum was the “Ghana National Strategic Framework on Ending Child Marriage for Ghana”, and how the policy document could be used to bring all stakeholders together to dialogue and take actions on the basic rights and protection for girls interests.
Optimized After 24 Years – ”Policy Prioritization as a Factor”
The final activity on the “Right to be a Girl – After 24 Years Before Marriage” Project, which is the forum held for deliberations on the Ghana National Strategic Framework on Ending Child Marriage, gave birth to some more ideas on what needs to be done to tighten collaboration with state authorities to the ensure the protection of the rights of girls.
The “Optimized After 24 Years – Policy Prioritization as a Factor” as a scale – up Project with funding support from Mundo Cooperante, has an overall objective of following up to influencing implementation of the National strategic Framework on Ending Child Marriage, through collaborations with three (3) administrative structures in Northern and Savannah Regions, ensuring 180 girls and boys gain access to future employable skills, by December 2021.
The project seeks to use the advocacy approach to draw attention of authorities to the need for the girl child development policy to be enforced with the aim of protecting the basic rights of the girl.
The target project MMDAs; Tamale Metropolitan, Sagnarigu Municipal and Salaga North District have many rural communities whose residents have minimal or no education on the basic girl child rights protection issues and the support available as rights for the girl.
Through the project, we will seek to educate on the larger scale, the communities and schools in the target districts on the need for all to support for the rights of the girl to be protected, since the girl child is among the vulnerable groupings in society.
The “Optimized After 24 Years – Policy Prioritization as a Factor” Project will travel across the twelve months of 2021, with series of engagement activities on both advocacy and community and stakeholder engagements on girl child policy enforcement.