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UNFPA Executive Director: adolescent pregnancy is not just a health issue, it’s a development issue

There are over 600 million girls in the world today, more than 500 million of them in developing countries. They are shaping humanity’s present and future. The opportunities and choices girls have during adolescence will enable them to begin adulthood as empowered, active citizens.

With the right skills and opportunities, they can invest in themselves, in their families and their communities. However, pregnancy jeopardizes the rights, health, education and potential of far too many adolescent girls, robbing them of a better future.

Babatunde Osotimehin (UNFPA Executive Director)

Babatunde Osotimehin (UNFPA Executive Director)

About 16 million girls aged 15-19 give birth each year, and complications from pregnancy and child birth are the leading cause of death among girls in this age group, especially in developing countries.

Adolescent pregnancy is not just a health issue, it is a development issue. It is deeply rooted in poverty, gender inequality, violence, child and forced marriage, power imbalances between adolescent girls and their male partners, lack of education, and the failure of systems and institutions to protect their rights. To bring these issues to global attention, this year’s World Population Day is focusing on adolescent pregnancy.

Breaking the cycle of adolescent pregnancy requires commitment from nations, communities and individuals in both developed and developing countries to invest in adolescent girls. Governments should enact and enforce national laws that raise the age of marriage to 18 and should promote community-based efforts that support girls’ rights and prevent child marriage and its consequences.

Adolescents and youth must be provided with age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education to develop the knowledge and skills they need to protect their health throughout their lives. However, education and information are not enough. Good quality reproductive health services must also be readily available in order for adolescents to make informed choices and be healthy.

At the local level, communities should provide the infrastructure to deliver reproductive health care in a youth-friendly and sensitive way.

Underlying all these efforts is the understanding that the dignity and human rights of adolescent girls must be respected, protected and fulfilled. Today, we call on governments, the international community and all stakeholders involved to take measures that enable adolescent girls to make responsible life choices and to provide the necessary support for them in cases when their rights are threatened. Every young girl, regardless of where she lives, or her economic circumstances, has the right to fulfill her human potential. Today, too many girls are denied that right. We can change that, and we must.

See more at Source: http://goo.gl/nS3WZ

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Ghanabakwamena Zone!, Issues!

 

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Volunteer- Put a smile on a face!

Curious Minds- Ghana has for 16 years worked with young people to advocate the rights and well-being of children and youth. The organization’s work is mainly media driven with a strong emphasis on Capacity Building, Advocacy, and Communication within a well-developed organization focusing on the Local, Regional and National levels.  Curious Minds-Ghana believes in the ability and resourcefulness of young people to meaningfully contribute to issues related to their development.

“Curious Minds Central Region Chapter in Action”

In a bid to continue to ensure Children in deprived communities are supported in their academic work, the organization started an initiative to draw volunteers, mainly from SHS, Universities and Colleges of Education- from around Ghana to be part of the team teaching in these communities; the first move was successful in August 2011-thanks to all who joined in!

“Image from last years School-Outreach, Volunteer in Action”

Join us in our resolve to help create an enabling world for all children through volunteering with us this August as we complement the efforts of teachers to enhance their academic capacity.

“Volunteer in Action”

Steps to be a volunteer:
1. Cick on this link www.cmwestern.webs.com/apps/documents/

2. Scroll down to the buttom of the page, spot document and click on Download (68 KB)

3. Fill the download form online with Microsoft Word,

4. Send the filled form to curiousmindstadi@hotmail.com

WE ARE READY TO WELCOME YOU ABOARD HIS PROJECT!!! THANK YOU!!

Exercise books and other items are also welcomed… no offer is too small!

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Issues!

 

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Tender!

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(Tender Performing on South African Pop Idol stage)

Tenders’ voice alone floored me. I was really lost for words… she had it all, the looks, intelligence, humility and voice- gosh! The judges even testified she gave her all whenever she performed…phrases like ‘’…you are a star my baby’’ and ‘’…I think in my opinion it’s safe to say, you really do epitomize a diva, and probably the best diva we ever had” clearly proved it!

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(Tender Performing on South African Pop Idol stage)

I was left with no choice but empathize with ever sweet, caring and beautiful Tender as I screened ‘Love in a time of HIV’. On 20th September 2007, as a pop SA idol amongst four finalists she openly announced her HIV status – (such brave and right thing to do) She was evicted two weeks after disclosing her HIV status and went from stardom to any normal regular citizen, it made me also ask “where’s all the glitz and glamour”… the Press said all they wanted to, many even mocked her for disclosing her status and the loss of her premature baby “destiny”.

She spends quality time with her family (her mum- Mildred and other two sisters); they accept and love her as part of the family… Lilly, her youngest sister seems to be heading the same route, at age 17 she has had countless unprotected sex with guys even though she is fully aware of the dangers. Tender and her mother both fear she may end up making the same mistake and ending up infected!

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(Tenders’ younger sister Lilly, checking herself out in a mirror)

Tender found a new boyfriend, Godfrey, they’ve been going out for two weeks and he has no idea about Tenders HIV status. Tender realizes the need to reveal her biggest secret break the news to Godfrey and finds it tough but a must do- she describes her expectations as either “the end of something new or a start of something”.

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(Tender revealing her biggest secret to Godfrey, her new boyfriend)

She then tells him; making him aware of her status and the risks involved if they would want to continue going out.

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(Godfrey looked shattered after hearing what Tender had to say)

Tender received an sms from Godfrey the next day after informing him on her status- Tender seemed excited, but it would sure take more than a text message to prove he really wasn’t walking away. Tender blamed the spread of HIV in South Africa on men and particularly their attitude towards sex- She mentioned young women, 18 year olds are out looking for boyfriends, something they could hold on to… and married men are out taking advantage of them, these men move from girl to girl and only God knows what they take back home to their marital homes (wives), Tender had lost her faith in men, and it would take time to change that feeling.

                       It pays to either Abstain, Be and remain faithful to your partner or use a condom and stay safe and alive! I have founded and been running an initiative for sometime now: “Youth Against Stigma” – reaching young people with the aim of training them with relevant age-appropriate education on HIV & AIDS; making them Ambassadors so they reach out to others to make this world Stigma-free and contribute our quota to the Global AIDS response! You are gladly welcome to join and support this cause. watch out for our blog soon! 🙂 and check out what we’ve been up to and many more!

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Issues!

 

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Issues from ObengKrom, Western Ghana (Delayed post)

In the last quarter of 2010, my colleague in advocacy Caleb Yaw Obipeh (a youth activist & film freak) paid a visit to a cocoa growing community, ObengKrom in the Western Region of Ghana, His mission- to eagle-eye the community all round and bring back vital data to be processed and give you this information. We are grateful to Caleb, so must you.

ObengKrom is a rural community- with its population of about 100 people, is mainly into cocoa farming, far away from town. Caleb indeed enjoyed every-bit of the mission for He was not surprised on what his eyes beheld, Life in the small community was fun- he could tell from the faces (broad smiles) of the children who readily welcomed Caleb and the team.

 

Amidst all the fun and excitement, one could easily notice quality education was one of the many basic necessity ObengKrom lacked- let’s hold on on the facilities, the state of the school building alone is nothing to write home about. The existing school structure was put up in 1985- yes, you heard me…lol!  And nothing significant has been done to upgrade the state of the school. Rains in the community sent the structure down and a temporary one (which seems to be their final destination- from the look of things) was put up few years ago, that is also not in a good shape at all, don’t even want to talk about roofing.

 Rains disrupt and halt studies whenever they fall- they easily get into the class too, why? No windows, no doors- and it houses pupils from the first grade to the sixth grade… what happens next, adulthood? Or it’s up to pupils to leave ObengKrom for school in town miles away- their means of transport is basically by foot or bicycle, which many don’t have! I sure won’t move an inch in such an unpleasant situation, Pupils may get tired on reaching school or even meet the class half way through studies- this and many more deter students from continuing and even de-motivates teachers for their efforts often ends in a No-Result gotten deal. Sad you may say, isn’t this community worthy of benefiting from the GETFUND? When is it reaching them? Am asking, how soon? It’s also ‘in the pipe-line’ I guess.

The School has no Office, okay- it shares a classroom with one of the classes- surprised huh? Forget the black board; forget text books, even exercise books, forget free uniforms- pupils wear tattered uniforms, others in house attire- but, at least its better than staying back at home whiles friends enjoy school?  I agree we’ve chalked some success when it comes to making sure we achieve by 2015, Millennium Development Goal 2- achieving Universal Basic Education, by recording an increase in the number of pupils in many schools- thanks to the Capitation Grant and School Feeding Programme. I believe with the zeal and yearn to learn the Pupils and teachers at ObengKrom deserve better. Don’t forget; always have this quote of mine in mind, “Educated People- Educate People”.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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EDUCATION! EDUCATION! EDUCATION!

Education

I would start this blog item with a quote: “Educated people- Educate people”- Cecil Ato Kwamena Dadzie (Ghanabakwamena), 2010. Certainly, aside living, education is one of our basic rights to personal and societal well-being; it’s a means for knowledge transmission to generations and it goes a long way to enhance the potential contributions of individuals to national development.

I can’t talk of Education without making reference to MDG 2- Achieving universal primary education. Similarly, MDG 3- Promoting gender equality and empowering women. I believe Education is the best tool or way to reduce poverty, child labor, promote peace and development, empower a female, and even achieve the rest of the MDGs. Agree? Yes, every boy and girl child must be educated, but the quality of education is indeed questionable, esp. ‘public education’. The quality of education determines how sharp the skills and attitudes of people will be in future. The foundation, Early Childhood Care and Development, if not strong may bring down years of hard-work and input by other teachers along the way.

It is sad yet bad to know that around Ghana, over seventy-five (75) schools still hold classes under trees; we can’t let this be-never. Others fortunate to be sheltered lack books, at times teachers, teaching aids and vital learning tools that would make learning attractive, comfortable and easy to understand- these are few of the numerous factors that drive children away from school, aside poverty. Even that is no excuse to starve the brains of your child- basic education is free and compulsory. Teachers will surely reject postings to rural areas if the environment doesn’t look appealing- no electricity, water hard to come by, accommodation and incentives etc.

It is obvious therefore that, I call on us all once again to serve as checks of our society. Secondly, we all make up the ‘government’ and have roles to play in achieving every single goal of the MDGs. Again, the best investment a nation can make is in its children and education- lets build more schools in communities and encourage schooling by all people esp. children, so they can educate others when they grow. At the same time attention must be given to teachers- we need them!

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Issues!

 

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