The Executive Director of NORSAAC, Mr. Alhassan Mohammed Awal has made a wake- up call on parents and policy makers to take the wellbeing of the youth in the northern region and Ghana at large to heart.
Mr. Mohammed Awal said this in his welcome address at the opening ceremony of the maiden edition of the Northern Ghana Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) Conference for young people held by NORSAAC and its partners in Tamale today, Thursday 10th August, 2017. In his address, Mr. Awal kicked against policy makers and parents blaming the youth for all the negatives in the society including teenage pregnancy, poor performance of schools, sexual immorality, and many others whiles forgetting their own contributions to all these things that they are blaming the youth for. He added that the youth are tired and unhappy with the negative tagging and consistent reminders of their negatives and therefore need hope from the older generation.
The Executive Director further urged the older generation to focus more on solving these negatives instead of blaming the young ones. According to him, there is the need to reflect on traditional and religious values, assess how those values affect services provided to the youth and whether those services meet minimum national and international services. He also said there is the need to regularly examine laws and policies related to the youth and effect the necessary changes where amendment is needed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Awal expressed his worry about the clarity of the abortion laws of Ghana and the Comprehensive Sexuality Education in schools. He also lamented the neglect and gradual collapse of youth friendly service centers-a place where the youth should be comfortable to express themselves freely without any form of intimidation, and the conduct of some service providers who report the decisions of young people to their guardians without recourse to the emotions of the young people, claiming they love them. He advised decision makers especially in the health sector to take advantage of the exposed ignorance of the youth to empower them and provide them with the right and enhanced services.
The Director however challenged young people to be proactive and lead their colleagues to take their destinies into their own hands. “The world has become competitive and there is increasing demand for resources so you do not have to wait further but instead use all available platforms to make your demands for attention, commitment and action. The days of talking without actions are gone; nobody can change your destiny, you have to understand your situation, communicate it clearly and demand it right”
The conference, organized by NORSAAC and its partners is part of the 15 years anniversary celebration of NORSAAC, it saw young people between the ages of 12 and 25 years representing across the northern region and is expected to end on Sunday, August 13, 2017.
By:Prince Kwame Tamakloe/kesmifmonline.com