General News of Thursday, 13 June 2019
Mrs Juliana Ama Kplorfia, the Executive Director of Girls Excellence Movement (GEM), an NGO into empowerment and skills training said growing up challenges for the girls and failure by parents to address their concerns compounded the situation for them.
She noted that lack of such enabling environment created a double jeopardy situation for them, which drove them in search of information in wrong hands usually peers for skewed counsel.
Mrs Kplorfia said this during an outreach programme for students of Tsito Technical Senior High School at Tsito, in the Ho West District.
It was to inspire and mentor the girls into stardom, comparable to “Women of substance” status.
It was also targeted at creating an enabling environment for young girls to seek help, when the need arose towards becoming self-sufficient and knowledgeable in matters relating to them.
She said for lack of information, the girls fell into landmines, which eventually truncated their academic progress and making them dependants.
Madam Naasu Fofanah, former gender advisor to Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, ex-President of Sierra Leone, said serious attention had to be given to issues of sexual violence against young girls in every sphere of their life.
She said it was imperative that pragmatic mechanisms were activated to deal with the issues drastically as it was causing lots of harm to the victims and society.
Madam Fofanah said breaking silence on abuses, especially sexual abuse was important as it would help the victim to overcome the psychological trauma associated with it.
Madam Fofanah, who is also a survivor of rape, called for stiffer punishment for people who engaged in such acts and exhorted the girls to report any form of sexual abuse against them to their parents and other appropriate state agencies.
“Victims are locked up in the prison of trauma and just want someone to open the doors so that they can have some air,” she stated.
Madam Lahadi Samira, an Information Technology Expert said much attention should be given to the youth and child development as prerequisites for skills acquisition towards nation building.
She asked the girls to develop self-esteem and stay focused in order to overcome life’s challenges, and achieve their goals.
Madam Victoria Achoribo, Assistant Headmistress of the School commended GEM for the inspirational lectures, which she described as timely and believed the event had broadened the horizon of the students while equipping them to take decisions relevant to their growth and development.
Madam Achoribo urged GEM and partners to continue to inspire young girls to become women of excellence.
Some students who spoke to the media described the engagement as educative and inspiring and expressed gratitude to the Movement.
The girls were taken through topics such as; vision, self-confidence, effective study, proper disposal of sanitary pads among others.
The Movement also presented boxes of sanitary pads and mathematical sets to the girls.