Women, Media, and Change (WOMEC), a non-governmental group, has completed its Gender Transformative Programming (GTP), Turning Point Project for adolescent females in the Kpone-Katamanso Municipality.
Several programmes under the two-and-a-half-year project benefited over 500 adolescent females from 10 junior high schools in the municipality and 200 students (both boys and girls) from the Kpone Community Senior High School.
The Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Ghana Project was sponsored by Global Affairs Canada through Plan International.
Okushibri KKMA Basic, Appolonia KKMA JHS, Kpone Methodist ‘A’ School, Casmin International School, and Princeton Academy were among the institutions that benefitted.
Other schools include Haana KKMA JHS, Sebrepo Presby ‘A’ and ‘B,’ and Nii Oglie Model ‘1’.
Dr. Charity Binka, Executive Director of WOMEC, said beneficiary females got mentorship training, writing skills and entrepreneurship, gender-based violence sensitisation, leadership skills, gender equality, human rights, and empowerment, among others.
Dr. Binka explained that the project was founded on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) five and three, which address gender equality and good health and wellbeing, respectively.
She stated that Kpone-Katamanso was chosen for the project based on data collected from community stakeholders, which included high teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, drug abuse, and sexual molestation, among others.
She stated that to ensure the project’s success, they used a bottom-up approach in which community stakeholders such as the Education Directorate, Health Directorate, Municipal Assembly, and others all participated in the formulation of the intervention, which she described as a success.
She encouraged the girls to be peer educators for other adolescents in the community who were unable to join the scheme due to limited funding, and she also encouraged them to make good use of the mentors in order to achieve their desired future greatness.
Stakeholders praised WOMEC for the initiative and advocated for such programmes to target children in upper primary to empower them at a younger age, as well as for its expansion to other communities, as more teenagers needed such trainings and support.
Some of the programme’s beneficiaries, who shared their experiences, said the project had taught them assertiveness, confidence building, avoiding bad companies, focusing on their education, and the need to report gender-based violence to the police.
The closing ceremony also recognised 20 girls, who excelled in an essay competition in the various subjects as well as patrons, stakeholders, and the two best students gender clubs.
Ms Annabel Quansah, a 14-year-old, Kpone Methodist Basic ‘A’ JHS three pupil emerged as the overall winner for the essay writing competition out of 74 entries.
Ms Quansah told the Ghana News Agency her winning poem ‘Shattered dreams’ was inspired by seeing people going through many sufferings due to gender-based violence.