Ministry of Gender organizes model children summit on Sustainable Development Goals

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A model children summit on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been held as a platform to discuss critical issues, share best practices, and make inputs to strategize and to take actions towards improvement of their lives. 

It was organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) in partnership with UNICEF, World Vision Ghana, Plan International, Child Rights International, and the SDG Advisory office.

Other partners include Compassion International, International Needs, Rains Ghana and Children’s Believe.

Key issues identified by the children at the summit included high rate of youth unemployment, limited access to internet services, low digital literacy levels among the population, unpredictable rainfall pattern and extreme weather conditions negatively affecting crop yield, among others.

Osama Makawi, a representative of UNICEF in a statement advised the children to use the summit as a platform to become champions for the SDGs in their communities, saying, “Be the generation that fulfils the promise of the African Charter.”

He said though there were hurdles such as child poverty, limited healthcare, and the ever-present threat of climate change, however, with education and the roadmap of SDGs, we could navigate these challenges with all stakeholders working together in an unstoppable force for good.

“Let’s use science, technology and the unstoppable human spirit to create a future where every child can thrive,” he said.

Madam Laura Del Valle, the National Director, World Vision Ghana said; “As an organization whose vision for every child is life in all its fullness.

“We believe that addressing poverty and inequality, ensuring quality education, health and wellbeing of our children, including access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene are crucial for the wellbeing of our children.”

According to her, this was why World Vision has launched a new global campaign dubbed “Enough” which emphasizes the commitment to ensuring enough nutritious food for every child, obtained ethically and sustainably and to eradicating child malnutrition.

Dr. Afisah Zakariah, the Chief Director of MGCSP said true leadership was not about hierarchical status, but about the passion to initiate, the ability to unite, and the commitment to innovate.

“The bold proposals you put forward, innovative solutions, you design, the visionary and forward-looking resolutions you adopt and pass and the courageous actions you take will electrify us all to aim higher and become the change makers our world needs”, he said.

Madam Darkoa Newman, the Minister of MGCSP in a closing remark said SDGs goal ‘5’ and ‘16’ where child protection and gender equality come to play, protecting children from violence, exploitation and harmful practices was key priority.

She said government, together with partners have strengthened legal frameworks and enforcement mechanisms to safeguard children’s rights.

The summit, she said, has demonstrated the incredible potential of our children to contribute meaningfully to the development agenda.

According to her, Ghana has made significant strides towards achieving the SDGs including the implementation of various social protection programmes aimed at reducing poverty among orphaned and vulnerable children and their families.

She indicated that initiatives such as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme has provided financial assistance to the most vulnerable households, ensuring that basic needs such as nutrition, healthcare and school enrollment are met.

Awards were presented to the child delegates for their outstanding contributions and performances

By Francis Kwabena Cofie

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