The Wa Municipal Adolescent Coordinator, Ms. Shirley Pearl Guribie has asked parents to endeavor to provide the basic needs of the girl-child, especially the sanitary pads they have to use for menstrual hygiene.
She observed that the failure of parents to honour their responsibilities to their adolescent girls could lead to dire consequences including teenage pregnancy.
Ms. Guribie made the call at the official launch of a non-profit organisation known as Governance and Rural Development Initiative (GORDI) at Chansa in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region.
In this report, GBC’s Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo says GORDI’s interventions are anchored on four thematic areas: Education and health; Livelihood security; Water and sanitation as well as Research and Advocacy.
Ms Guribie urged adolescent girls to attached importance to menstrual hygiene in order to avoid infection and foul body smell.
She stressed the need for adolescents using cloth as sanitary pads to thoroughly wash and iron them for re-use and emphasised on parental support.
“We are a technological world and everybody wants to use pad so if the adolescent comes to you the father or mother, saying I need pad and you don’t give her the pad, and she goes to a male counterpart, if the male counterpart gives her the pad, definitely they will also have a request to make to the girl. You give me pad and I also give in for sex and that can lead to teenage pregnancy,” Ms. Guribie stated.
She stressed the need for adolescents to have good nutrition, saying if the girl-child menstruates every month and does not feed properly, definitely her hemoglobin (Hb) level will drop.
The Programs Manager of Governance and Rural Development Initiative (GORDI), Romanus Baayakuu said the establishment of the organization is to help among others in the mobilization of citizens at the grassroots to engage policy makers and implementers properly to be included in development intervention at local levels.
Mr Baayakuu dilated on the choice of Chansa as a host community for the project and GORDI’s empowerment interventions. He noted: “This community is chosen to host the launching based on some experiences working in the community and the cordial working relationship that has been established over some time now. GORDI in this respect intends to offer empowerment services that will engender community self-driven development through a tripartite approach that is empowerment through basic education and health, livelihood security and sustainable governance.”
A Medical Laboratory Scientist, Nuhaila Issaka Koray represented the Queenmother of Chansa, Pognaa Fati Issaka Koray. In a speech delivered for Pognaa Fati Koray, she “observed that often times some members of society, view NGOs as people who have been given “free” money, and thus participate only to the extent that they can benefit personally”. She pointed out that as a result of this mentality, some people neglect the communal interest and prioritize their selfish needs.
Pognaa Fati Koray who is also the Municipal Coordinating Director (MCD) for Wa stated that: “This mindset is unfortunate as it results in people viewing [development] projects as belonging to NGOs instead of owning the projects”.
The Queenmother, therefore, appealed to GORDI, to endeavor to involve the stakeholders in Chansa every step of the way to engender ownership as well as sustainability of the projects.
Assigning reasons for choosing the project host community, a founding member of GORDI, Dr Thaddeus Arkum Aasoglenang described Chansa as a lovely and one of the serious communities where residents are upbeat in taking ownership of projects and actively participating in implementing them to the end.
“Besides the Queen mother, Pognaa Fati Koray is hardworking and development-oriented fellow who indicated during her coronation that she will work with young people in connection with their ‘adolescent and reproductive health’ related matters,” he averred.
Dr Aasoglenang pointed that the project will run in Chansa for a long while to help bring the needed development outcomes provided funding is available.
The Presiding Member of the Wa Municipal Assembly Karim Abdul-Rahman Topie expressed appreciation to GORDI for rolling out the initiative in Chansa and hoped it will be extended to other communities across the country.
Story filed by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo.