The Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYDP) has reaffirmed commitment in significantly impacting the girl child positively, and reducing teenage pregnancy cases through its Adolescent Girls’ Programme (AGP) in the country.
PAYDP is an implementing partner of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and operates in six districts in the country, namely, Assin South, Ningo-Pramram, Kintampo South, Techiman Municipality, Accra and Kumasi Metro.
Speaking during an inception and impact session with stakeholders to practically share experiences, challenges and recommendations at the Ellking Hotel in Accra, the PAYDP Executive Director, Rev. Aku Xornam Kevi, said the programme had gone a long way to empower young adolescent girls and contributed to the reduction of teenage pregnancies, which hitherto wasn’t the case.
She noted that the UNFPA/UNICEF is a joint programme with funding support from Global Affairs Canada and designed to support government implement its adolescent girls’ vision. She added that it is aimed at scaling up the existing strategies and interventions to further an integrated policy response that holistically serves the needs of adolescent girls aged 10–19 years in Ghana.
She indicated that the AGP had largely been successful, considering the number of girls who dropped out of school before the programme as a result of teenage pregnancy.
“They have been able to enrol in different cycles of education. I must say that the programme has had a positive impact on young adolescent girls in several communities since its inception. It is, without doubt, that girls school enrollment has increased magnificently. Some eight girls who dropped out of this programme as a result of teenage pregnancy in Kintampo South are currently enrolled in different Second Cycle Institutions in the country,” she revealed.
Rev. Aku Kevi added that supplies had been made for some 15 girls in the Junior High and Senior High Schools. She stressed that “it is a step in the right direction considering the life-transforming feedback they receive from beneficiaries every day through the regional representatives and facilitators”.
She said the AGP had created a platform for over 5,000 kayayei, adolescent girls and other marginalised girls, saying “they’ve acquired skill training with others enrolled in the various Senior High and Tertiary Institutions within the country”.
“The AGP has played an instrumental role in making some of these adolescents assertive. This had created an enabling environment where people could not be coerced into engaging in sexual activities that were likely to lead to unwanted pregnancy. Today, we have quite a number of adolescent girls doing well in their endeavours, from education to learning a trade, among others,” she stated.
Meanwhile, the phase one programme that is ending didn’t go down well with beneficiaries because of the impact of the programmes on their lives.
According to them, it has given them the opportunity to know more about their potential, and they would want such a programme to be brought back so as to help shape the lives of other adolescent girls in the country.
For his part, the National Programme Analyst, Gender Based Violence (ABU), Faisal Bawa, commended PAYDP during the presentation on the AGP programmes by regional representatives and beneficiaries. He urged them not to relent in pushing further to see that other young girls in the country benefit.
He further added that educating one lady through the AGP about a bad habit or behaviour means saving an entire household because the issues characterised by waywardness can affect a whole generation.