Last week (14th January) was a memorable day for the OBAAPA Development Foundation (ODF) as it marked the launching of the second phase of their ‘Teenage Mothers Back To School’ or TMBTSP for short at South Tongu District in the Volta Region of Ghana’.
Ten young mothers were successfully enrolled on the project, bringing the number to twenty girls for the district.
With the kind support of Sokpoe Queenmothers’ Association led by Mamaga Adjasu II (Paramount Queenmother of Sokpoe Traditional Area), the girls were selected from various communities in the district, screened and confirmed to be beneficiaries of the project.
The mini launch and presentation took place at the South Tongu District Education office with the kind leadership and participation of the District Education Director (DED), Madam Evelyn Araba Zentey), some executives and staff of the office.
There were also representatives of Sokpoe Queenmothers Association, some teachers from beneficiary schools and about fifteen young mothers on the project.
The girls were presented with school items, including: school bags, sandals, sanitary pads, baby products, vitamin drops, pampers, baby food, and some refreshment.
Madam Zentey received the donation on behalf of the girls and thanked ODF for the support given. The DED emphasised the need for girls’ education and acknowledged the good work ODF and its partners are doing towards achieving SDG 4 (Quality Education) and many other goal outcomes linked to education.
Madam Zentey also expressed her excitement that her district has the highest number of beneficiaries on the TMBTS Project. She also assured all about her directorate’s willingness to partner ODF in ensuring that all the girls enrolled in the project go through their education successfully to become meaningful citizens in the future.
On her part, NanaHemaa Awindor, the Executive Director of OBAAPA Development Foundation thanked Madam Zentey and her team for their support and continued interest in the project. Nana said their show of commitment encouraged team ODF to increase the number of support given to the young mothers in the district.
NanaHemaa indicated that, the additional ten girls from South Tongu district, brings the total number of support given, to seventy girls countrywide. Nana says her team is preparing thirty girls in three districts (Ketu South, Okere and Akuapem South) to be added to the numbers soon.
Nana Awindor made it clear that her team, The Queenmothers and other interested stakeholders do not in any way support teenage pregnancy but the project is rather, “to repair the damage caused by the premature motherhood the young girls find themselves in. Instead of pointing fingers at defaulters, we will do our best to correct the norm” she averred.
NanaHemaa who is a staunch Women and Children Advocate reiterated her NGO’s interest in partnering with organisations such as UNICEF, UNFPA, PATH, World Vision, PLAN, Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service, Department of Community Development, the Gender Ministry etc… in Advocating and Championing Campaigns on
Mother & Child Mortality, Newborn care, Domestic Violence and SGBV, Ending Child Marriage, Girl Child Education, Menstrual Hygiene Management, WASH etc.
Prior to the launch, the ODF Team and the Sokpoe Queenmothers visited the South Tongu District Assembly to pay a courtesy call on the District Chief Executive. The DCE was represented by the District Coordinating Director, Mr Gilbert Avemegah.
Sir Gilbert as he’s affectionately called, was very happy to hear about ODF’s Teenage Mothers Back To School Project and pledged the assembly’s assistance on behalf of the District Chief Executive who was on a short trip out of town.
Team ODF and the Sokpoe Queenmothers will embark on a 2-day monitoring and evaluation visits to partner schools in the district to follow up on the Girls, pay their bills, ascertain their performance from their Teachers and also discuss any challenges thereof.
NanaHemaa Awindor wishes to thank Pinaman Cosmetics for donating various baby products and also to the Ghana Wesley United Church for their kind donation of sanitary pads, baby food, pampers, vitamins, etc. for the teenage mothers and their babies.
“Many thanks to our Media Partner on location today (Freedom FM and Radio Tongu) as well as Presspreep.com, Herald Newspaper, Time 96.9 FM, Angel TV, Adom TV, UTV who are always at hand to support the TMBTSP. We appreciate your support and prayers always. Together we will make the world a better place, especially for our Women and Girls” a grateful NanaHemaa said.
#GES # GACA