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Getting pregnant should never be the reason a young girl’s education is cut off. As UNFPA’s mandate of seeing every young person’s potential realized, partnering with Ghana’s First Lady of H.E. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, to launch the ‘Because I want to be’ initiative was key. The initiative aims at reintegrating girls who dropped out of school for one reason or another back into the school system. Those who may be unable to go back to school will be assisted to acquire an income generating skill as the continuous education and empowerment of the girl child remain the focus. This is in line with the SDG 4, which seeks at achieving quality education for the girl child.

Veronica Nartey, a 78 year old resident of the James Town Community, like many other residents, expressed her excitement about the prospects of getting her 17 year-old pregnant granddaughter back into school through this project. Veronica lost her daughter a few months ago, leaving her to take care of her 17, 14 and 13 year old grandchildren who do not have their father’s support.

Motherhood in childhood
Motherhood in childhood

In a community where dropping out of school is the norm of the day, cutting a different coat for oneself is a challenge. The ‘Because I Want To Be’ initiative targets nine communities along the southern coast, including Jamestown, Chorkor among others. “We know there are a lot of challenges in and around us. That notwithstanding, we need to let our young ladies know and realize the importance of education. That even if they are out of school now, they can still finish up, especially with the onset of free senior high school education,” H.E Rebecca Akufo - Addo said during the launch. She went on to impress the need for education and the works of The Rebecca Foundation in championing the empowerment of the girl child through alternative skill acquisition as well.

The initiative remains a step in the right direction for the UNFPA in our 2030 agenda where no one is left behind, and our young girls have no limits on their aspirations for the future, no matter where they are born.

Mothers seeking further information at the  programme
Mothers seeking further information at the  programme

The initiative which generally seeks to use a mentorship empowerment model to ensure the continuous education of girls to achieve a comprehensive set of social, human, and economic assets was officially launched at the Accra Wesley Methodist Cathedral Hall, in Accra.