As part of efforts to end child marriage and help children live to their full potential, SOS Children’s Village Ghana, with support from the Canadian government, has implemented a project in the Sagnarigu district dubbed “End Child marriage in Sagnarigu: Let the Girls Live as Girls.”
The project is aimed at empowering community members including girls and women to combat and end child, early and forced marriage in the Sagnarigu district. It is a five months project which started in October 2017 and will end in February 2018.
SOS says the Sagnarigu district was chosen for the project because it is among five districts in the northern region that have recorded the highest rate of child marriage, which is considered a major human right abuse.
The project is targeting ten communities namely choggu hill top, choggu Manaayili, Gumani, Nyanshegu, Kpalsi, Gbolo, Dimala, Jisonaayilli as well as Shishegu, and twenty schools in the Sagnarigu district. SOS children’s Villages (SOS CV) started work in Ghana in 1974 and currently operating in four locations namely; Tema, Asiakwa, kumasi and Tamale.
The organization’s vision is to see that every child belongs to a family and grows with love, respect and security. They also build families for children in need, help them shape their own future and also share in the development of their communities. The project is funded by the Canadian Embassy under the Canada Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI).
The SOS Programs Director, Benedict Pealore assured chiefs and assembly members of their commitment to ending early child marriage through the five months project. She therefore call on all and sundry to join hands in the fight against the menace.
A Representative of the Canadian Embassy in his speech stated that ending child marriage is important to the Canadian government and Ghana government as a whole. Child marriage he noted is a human rights abuse and can be dangerous to the health of the child. The Canadian government he said also focuses on empowering girls and women. He called on parents to concentrate on educating the girl-child rather than forcefully giving them out for marriage.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sagnarigu assured that girl–child education is one of the top most priorities of her office but expressed the readiness of her office to support the project. The program was climax with a debate competition between Our Lady of Fatima Junior High School and Choggu Demonstration B with Our Lady JHS toping the chart.
The quiz competition was among four beneficiary schools; Bambawiya JHS, Choggu Nurul Islamic JHS, Gurugu R/C and Ummul Diniyat Islamic, with Bambawiya declared as the winner. Contestants were awarded various prizes. The program was attended by chiefs, Assembly members, Heads of Senior High and junior High Schools and students from beneficiary schools.
BY: LILIAN D.WALTER