Invest in adolescent girls as powerful agents for change

11 October 2016
10 year old Abigail reciting a peom at the event
The Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), Ms Cecilia Senoo, has called on the public to collectively work together to ensure investment in the health and education of young people, particularly, adolescent girls. She highlighted that they will be powerful agents of change if we invest in them.
She encouraged Ghanaians to adopt meaningful strategies that would help to create awareness and support efforts to unleash the potentials of young girls, particularly those with disabilities in the area of high quality education. She made the call at the launch of a programme targeted at Persons with Disability as part of the International Day of the Girl Child on the 11 of October 2016 in Accra. 
Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi, UNFPA Representative expressed UNFPA’s delight in collaborating with HFFG over the years in addressing issues concerning women, girls and young people, adding that the mandates of the two organizations have a strong congruence. 
Dr Ahonsi emphasised that the 2016 International Day of the Girl Child theme, “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Data Movement”, needs critical thinking and advocacy, because data can make the lives of every girl, in every setting, visible and accessible; yet data and information on 10-14 years are either nonexistent or inadequate. The paucity of data hinders the requisite response to the needs of this group and inadvertently subdues policies on adolescent girls. He highlighted that more information and evidence on this age group needs to be gathered to help transform opportunities for girls.  He added that the availability of such data will go a long way to help Ghana achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) come 2030. 
The UNFPA Representative also officially launched the HopePal project, which focuses on persons with disability. The project is built on three pillars: mentoring of young people, advocacy and capacity building, as well as health service delivery. He lauded the project and described it as visionary. He urged HFFG to continue its dedication to empowering the disadvantaged in society and providing equal opportunities to all, while he encouraged the media to support the project for inclusive development for all citizens.
In attendance at the event were representatives from corporate institutions, non-governmental organizations, civil society networks, youth groups, students, HFFG staff across the regions and members of the general public.