Christabella Arko, GNA
Accra, Sept 12, GNA - Panelists at a day’s workshop aimed at empowering the girl-child on choosing a future career have urged girls not to be swayed by the careers of others, but pursue professions that will enhance their capabilities and brighter future.
They said girls could only be successful, if they pursued what was fulfilling and not what others desired.
The programme, which was organised by the Zongo Girls’ Rise Project, a Non-Governmental Organisation aimed at preparing the girls for the future on Thursday attracted over 200 Junior High School students.
The students were drawn from four communities; Mamobi, Nima, Kotobabi, and Kanda with “Self-discovery” as its theme.
Dr Mustapha Abdul – Hamid, Minister of Inner Cities and Zongo Development, one of the panelists said it was important for girls to realise that there was life beyond school and should discover their talents in order to fall back on them in the event of unemployment after school.
‘It is important to realise yourself so that you don’t get stuck after tertiary’’, he said.
He added that, parents should not compel their children to choose courses or attend schools against their will, adding that courses and big names of schools did not matter anymore in their career .
“Seventy per cent of your success depends on you and not the name of your school, don’t choose schools because of big names, these days employers hire human beings and not certificates’’ he reiterated.
Dr Hamid commended the organisers of the programme saying the project was a laudable one and thus supported his outfit’s mission and vision of eradicating the notion that zongo communities were the haven of school dropouts, teenage pregnancies and early child marriages.
He said his office was ready to support any programme that educated the girls, and gave guidance, counselling and career guidance to zongo girls.
Dr Rabiatu Ammah, senior Lecturer, Study of Religions at the University of Ghana, advised girls to hold in high esteem their morals and not to compromise with anything in order to survive.
She said girls were the least advantaged growing up as some older men and boys took advantage of them due to their vulnerability and urged them to seek assistance from people who could genuinely help them without foul intentions.
Such assistance, she said should be sought from elderly persons in the community, Muslim associations and foundations and other renowned individuals from their communities.
Mr Sammy Awuku, the board Chairman of the National Youth Employment Agency encouraged the children to adopt mentors that they would look up to and upgrade themselves.
He also advised them to have dreams and build on it themselves, by thriving to gain higher heights amidst discouragement from friends and family members.
“Do not listen to the opposing views when you know you are doing the right thing, find strength in your inner self and pursue your dreams until you find fulfilment in what you do,” he said
Ms Humu Gaage, the Ambassador of the Rise Programme, said it was to encourage young girls to achieve whatever they wanted to be without any barriers.
She said the project was in its second phase and they were ready to extend it to the other regions.