By Sasu Brako, Education Project Officer World Vision, Ghana
The Krachi Cluster of World Vision Ghana (WVG) in conjunction with the Krachi West District Directorate of Education, held this year’s annual vacation camp for 100 selected girls from more than 20 remote communities in the Krachi West District of the Oti Region.
Children, aged between 9 and13 years old, were drawn from communities such as Gyengyen, Kadentwe, Ehiamankyene, Kpatsu and Sabaja, and sponsored by World Vision in Ghana to participate in the week-long camp.
The camp was under the theme, ‘Empowering The Girl-Child for Responsible Living’ encouraged the girls to become positive ambassadors to their peers, the society and their respective communities.
The girls were taken through several thought-provoking topics such as violence against children and child rights, menstrual hygiene, necklace and earring craft making with beads, pastry making and digital literacy. They also engaged in physical and mental developmental activities, such as aerobics, girls’ soccer, story-telling sessions, talent and film shows as well as a campaign against child marriage with a durbar and a float through principal streets of the district.
In a statement read on his behalf, the Krachi Cluster Programme Manager of World Vision in Ghana, Mr. Edward Owulah mentioned what he described as “generational poverty” as the basis for girls being forced into marriage, servitude, lack of education and other abuses of the rights of girls. He added the situation was so prevalent that the majority of the people are trapped and remain in abject poverty.
“The absence of certain basic facilities, resources and skills, as well as the lack of knowledge and broken relationships are some of the causes of generational poverty that have bedeviled the society,” he said.
According to Mr. Owulah, “poverty, as a condition of deprivation, can be resolved by empowering people with quality education and skills training for which reason the girls have been selected to benefit from the camp.”
Chairman of the Local Council of Churches and Minister of the Kete Krachi congregation of the Church of Pentecost, Ghana, Rev. Offei Antwi also encouraged the girls to see themselves as leaders anywhere they found themselves. He charged them to lead exemplary lives not only as future leaders, but also in purity.
The Chief of Gyengyen, Nana Atta Kpebu, who chaired the function was full of praise for World Vision in Ghana and its partners for the golden opportunity given to the girls. He asked the girls to stop watching TV programmes that do not improve their lives as young children and particularly as girls.
Speaking through the Officer In-Charge of Social Welfare and Community Development, Thomas Doe, during a speech on behalf of the District Chief Executive emphasized the need for the camp adding “the Assembly would sponsor more girls for the event next year to give the opportunity for more girls to benefit from the camp meeting”.
The camp received enormous support from partners, such as the Local Council of Churches (LCCs) in the area, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Nutrition Division of the District Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Department of Social Welfare and Community Development as well as the School Health Education Programme (SHEP) and the Girl-Child Education units of the Ghana Education Service (GES).
Crowning off the camp was an exhibition of pastries, beaded products, and other crafts prepared by the girls. Many described the success of the camp as worth celebrating, considering the girls seemed poised to play their roles as agents of change in their various communities.