The Global Media Foundation (GloMeF) has inaugurated Adolescent Parliament to identify and help tackle the pressing developmental needs of young people in the Sunyani Municipality. GloMeF is non-profit organisation, which specialises in the usage social, and behaviour change communication, right, and evidence-based research approaches to facilitate inclusive development programmes targeting young people, women, children, and other vulnerable groups in the society. Accordingly, the Sunyani-based NGO has elected 19 parliamentarians to lead the adolescent movement and give them a voice in the decision-making process, as part of the implementation of its ‘Resilient City for Adolescent Project’ expected to directly benefit 1,500 and indirectly reach out to 3000 boys and girls. The Swiss Botnar Foundation under its Resilient City for Adolescents Initiative is funding the implementation of the 300,000-pound sterling project, which seeks to improve the lives of adolescents in the country. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the side-lines of an adolescent engagement meeting in Sunyani, as part of the project’s implementation, Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Chief Executive Officer, GloMeF said the NGO was yet to elect and inaugurate the Speaker, Deputy Speaker as well as the majority and minority leaders for the adolescent parliament. The meeting, he added, was to collect the views, and identify the fundamental problems confronting the about 200 participants. Mr Ahenu noted though Ghana was the country to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child, many adolescent boys and girls were still denied some basic rights and privileges. Besides, he indicated the African Union Conventions and Protocols on the Rights and Responsibility of the Child as well as the Children Act required young people access to shelter, food, quality health and participation in decision-making. Yet, Mr Ahenu added many Ghanaian children were denied three square meals, shelter, and access to quality healthcare, saying it was imperative that the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies captured and addressed the needs of adolescent people in their four-year medium development plans. ‘The adolescent parliament is not geared towards inciting or instigating young people, but rather, to ensure their voices are heard in the decision-making process at the local levels,’ he stated. Under the Adolescent Parliament, Mr Ahenu said vulnerable adolescent boys and girls would be provided with employable skill training, career development as well as benefit from digital innovation programmes. He said about 45 of them between 13 and 21 years would benefit from the digital innovation programme while 15 of them would also be enrolled in the skills training which covered dressing making, hairdressing, body makeups, manicure, and pedicure. Mr Ahenu called on parents to draw closer to their adolescent boys and girls, communicate and help to identify and address the challenges confronting them.
Source: Ghana News Agency