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Leaving no one behind, UNFPA intensifies young voices at NORGHA 2019

4 September 2019
Group Photo of Participants of the 2019 NORGHA

UNFPA and other partners supported NORSAAC to organize the Northern Ghana SRHR Conference (NORGHA) for Young People on the theme, “Leave no one behind; The voices of young people in the implementation of the National Guidelines on CSE.”

The commitment to empower young people with sexuality education comes on the back of the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994. Ever since, governments have had a responsibility of making Comprehensive Sexuality Education available to adolescents, including those in and out-of-school to enable them make more informed choices and eliminate gender inequality.

Guest Speaker at the event, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, UNFPA Ghana Representative addressed the participants on the SDGs principle of “leaving no one behind”, saying, ‘when people are left behind they lack the choices and capabilities that enable others to participate in or befit from human development.’

He highlighted on the need for CSE education for the youth and the role of all stakeholders including the government in ensuring its implementation.

Reiterating UNFPA’s commitment to promote youth leadership and participation, he said, “Wherever you are, you have a responsibility to spread the information and also provide guidance to other people, so together we can get the future we want”, he added.

Madam Esther Akua Emoako, NORSAAC Board Chairperson, said NORGHA is a response to restrictive systems in the Northern Region, acknowledging the efforts of the Northern Regional House of chiefs’ in creating safe spaces for young people to access SRHR services and also enhance the influence in decision making processes especially on body rights and integrity

In a youth statement dubbed, “Our expectations and what you should know about us”, Konlan Gladys Meboni, a youth advocate stated, “we expect our schools to create warm, caring and open atmosphere for us to discuss our personal growth and sexuality issues”

NORGHA 2019 assembled 500 youth from the five regions in Northern Ghana: Northern, Savannah, North East, Upper East and Upper West Regions between the ages of 15-30 years young people to interact and engage with policy implementers, especially CSE implementers on practical ways to successfully roll out CSE for in-school and out of school youth.

Through NORGHA 2019, youth networks will be created in the sub-region to continuously engage policy makers and advocate for redress of their sexual reproductive health and right needs.

The 3-day conference was held at the University of Development Studies, Tamale and was supported by UNFPA, UNICEF, RAINS, Ghana Health Service and Ghana SRHR Alliance for Young people, among others.