In Ghana, teenage pregnancy is a major cause of maternal mortality, as the bodies of most teenage girls are not well developed and matured to accommodate a baby. Teenage pregnancy also results in most affected girls dropping out of school, becoming unskilled and unfit for the labour market, even as they prepare to become mothers.
However, as part of efforts to help reduce the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the country, especially in Ga mashie, Yali Cohort10 Southern Ghana embarked on a mentoring project on the theme: “Enhancing the Living Standards of teenagers and teenage mothers in Ga mashie through mentoring, education and skills training”.
Addressing the participants during the ceremony, the Project Coordinator for Yali Cohort10 Southern Ghana team, Rita Esionam Garglo, said having had the opportunity to participate in the Young African Leaders Initiative and as beneficiaries of the training, they were mandated to embark on a community service as a means of giving back to society.
This she said, upon a careful consideration on the topic of teenage pregnancy; the team chose Ga mashie, due to high rate of teenage pregnancy in the community.
Rita Esionam, cited high level of poverty, early marriages, gender discrimination, and lack of access to contraceptives, low levels of education, limited access to adequate healthcare and transfer of inter-generational poverty as the major factors contributing to the canker.
“Therefore it is our aim to educate and mentor these vulnerable mothers and also give them a fresh start, by building their capacity to become financially independent to help eradicate or reduce poverty which is one of the key factors contributing to teenage pregnancy,” Ms Garglo.
The Principal Elder, Ga Paramount Stool, Nii Amui DeGraft Quaye, who graced the occasion, commended Yali Cohort10 Southern Ghana team for organizing such a programmme and urged parents to invest massively in the education of their children and also counsel them on sexual reproductive health especially the girl child.
The project secretary, Evelyn Addor advised the teenage mothers not to give up but strive to create better future for their children.
Ms Addor stated that, teenage motherhood is not a death sentence but an opportunity to strive harder since the mother’s are not fighting for their dreams alone but for a better future for their children.
She called on government and other stakeholders to create employment /empowerment opportunities to break the transgenerational transfer of poverty which is the root cause of the canker.
By: Latifa Carlos