News

Using faith to facilitate development, Religious Leaders in Ghana show the way

20 November 2018

“Inaction is not an option, so we must strive to make a difference together,” said H.E Samira Bawumia, the wife of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana at the final day of a three day conference of Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) held in Accra. Acknowledging the efforts of the religious leaders, Mrs. Bawumia stated that FBOs enjoy unique relationships with communities including young adolescents, hence, their role is indispensable in addressing developmental issues that affect adolescent girls.

Mrs. Bawumia charged FBOs not be silent on sexual & gender-based violence such as rape and defilement as well as harmful practices saying “it is our actions and inactions that contribute to the vulnerabilities of the girl child”.

She further recommended the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs for the bold step on the interfaith dialogue on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and suggested that the FBOs Conference becomes a platform for both religious and traditional leaders who are the community gatekeepers to share information on issues such CSE, family planning, sexual and gender based violence and harmful practices.

HE Samira Bawumia in a group photo with some of the Religious Leaders
HE Samira Bawumia in a group photo with some of the Religious Leaders

Speaking on the conference, Sheikh Amin Bamba of Tamale Central Mosque said, The conference has been very informative and educative and I am poised to put what I have learnt into action”.

Rev Baffour giving his impressions on the conference with Sheikh Bamba looking on
Rev Baffour giving his impressions on the conference with Sheikh Bamba looking on

Rev Abraham Opoku- Barffour of the Christian Council of Ghana had this to say “I am extremely happy we are using religion to facilitate development and not destruction as it happens elsewhere.   It is absolutely refreshing for making religious leaders own the ideas and carry them to their communities”

A representative from the Canadian High Commission, Dr. Buckle, commended the UNFPA for organizing the conference which will go a long way to create a conducive environment for the adolescent girl to grow into a responsible woman.

The UNFPA country representative Niyi Ojuolape commended the religious leaders for staying committed and participating effectively in the three day conference. He encouraged participants to continue the dialogue in their communities so together we can achieve the future we desire for our young people by 2030.

The conference ended with all participants agreeing to be part of the new change and ensuring that the young adolescent is well informed to be able to make positive choices.