Sunyani, Aug 31, GNA - Hajia Mariama Martey, Executive Director of Centre for Women and Children Association (CEWOCA), an NGO has expressed unhappiness with the high rate of teenage pregnancy among girls in the Zongo Communities.
She said the situation had become so alarming that some parents in the Zongo Community are known to betroth their girls at tender ages like 10 years who later become a burden on the society as they receive no formal and informal training.
Hajia Martey expressed the concern in an interview with the Ghana News Agency during this year’s celebration of National Children’s Day at Sunyani Zongo.
The NGO which propagates the rights of women and children, organised the Day in collaboration with the Department of Children on the theme: “The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The Roles of the Community”.
She said some of the girls were sacked from their marital homes together with their children back to their families and they become miserable and had to begin life all over again with some of them undertaking menial jobs.
Hajia Martey appealed to parents not to be influenced by money to give their children to marriage at such tender ages but rather educate them to become responsible adults before entering into marriage.
She said because education was low at the Zongo Communities, they lacked development which affected the lifestyle of the people.
The Executive Director said every child had a potential and needed to be assisted to develop it to the benefit of society and asked parents to desist from extravagant living at the expense of their children’s education.
She said parents in the Zongo Communities had been sensitised about the dangers of not educating their children and the dangers of pushing them into early marriages and warned that any parent caught forcing girls into early marriage would be reported to the Department of Social Welfare and the police for prosecution.
Hajia Martey called on government to offer scholarships to children especially girls from the deprived communities to enable them continue their education to the highest level.
Mr George Ankamah, Acting Brong Ahafo Regional Director of Department of Children, appealed to parents with disabled children to send them to school to acquire knowledge and skills to fend for themselves so that they become no burdens on the society.
He said it was not a curse for any parent to give birth to a disabled child but rather parents should make efforts to ensure the total development, protection and general welfare of such children.