A non-governmental organisation, the Nneka foundation, has provided about 200 teen mothers and out-of-school girls from rural communities with vocational training and entrepreneurial skills to empower them economically.
The beneficiaries, mostly from the Afadjato South District of the Volta Region, were camped at the Nneka Training Centre in Ve-Agbome for a two-week intensive training in jewellery designing, soap making, batik fabric productions, cassava flour production and processing into pastries.
Each year, more than 15 million girls around the world are married before their 18th birthday.
The Ghana Demographic Health Survey in 2008 indicated that about 25% of women aged 20-24 were married or were in union before their 18th birthday.
The 2011 Multi-Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) also scored Ghana at 28% for marriages before age 18 and about 6% for marriages before age 15. These children are mostly forced into marriages with men who are old enough to be their fathers and grandfathers.
As a result, these girls face economic challenges since they are not gainfully employed and have to depend on their husbands.
As part of measures to restore hopes in the lives of such girls, Nneka foundation, an NGO committed to the youth development in rural Ghana, rolled out an intervention dubbed, Vocational and Entrepreneurial Pathway (VEP).
The training program apart from providing skills to these girls, empowers them to know their rights and privileges as responsible citizens.
The organisation’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cecilia Fiaka believes that young women in rural communities who fall victims to teenage pregnancy and child marriage should not be neglected.
“They possess as much potential as anyone else and must thus be given an opportunity to prove their worth,” she said.
She told Citi News that the participants, through the training, now have the skills and mental strength to conquer the world around them.
By: King Nobert Akpablie/citifmonline.com/Ghana