UNIC Accra Embarks on UN4U Outreach Activities in Northern & Ashanti Regions

23 May 2016

UNIC Accra has undertaken a series of community and youth outreach activities in the Northern and Ashanti regions of Ghana. The key message during this exercise was on the Sustainable Development Goals and what they mean to us as people and as our planet.

The first community was Boakurugu, in the Sagnarogo District of the Northern region. The team, later on, visited the Tamale Senior High School, where over 2000 students gathered to hear about the SDGs. In the Ashanti region, four activities were held at the Ejisu-Adadientem Church of Christ Senior High School, the Ejisu Central market, Edwenase community and the Kumasi Senior High Technical School for over a thousand students. The audiences at all the events were very enthused about the information on the SDGs and expressed appreciation to the team for including them in the outreach plans.

These events were organized by UNIC Accra in collaboration with its local partners, Abibimman Foundation, Young People we Care and Global Shapers Community, Tamale.

Despite many global efforts at raising the needed awareness on the subject, only a handful of students we reached and the people in local communities we visited were aware of the SDGs.  The local partners were therefore encouraged to set up SDGs Clubs, especially in schools, to enable students to learn about the SDGs, its relationship to national development efforts and what they can do to create awareness about the 2030 development agenda.

Categories: Accra
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Market Women and Farmers in Ghana Learn about the Sustainable Development Goals

23 May 2016

Sharing the message of the global development agenda has never been this interesting as it was during UNIC Accra’s interactions with three communities in the Northern and Ashanti regions.

Located some 20 minutes from Tamale, the Northern regional capital, is Boakurugu, a relatively small community in the Sagnarogo District of the Northern region. Inhabitants of this community are mainly smallholder farmers. They plant maise, pepper and groundnut.UNIC Accra and its local partner, Global Shapers Community, Tamale, first paid a brief courtesy call on the Chief of the area, Alhassan Naporo to announce its mission.

About 50 residents later gathered to be briefed when suddenly a rain storm hit the community. Not deterred by the sudden storm, the residents rushed to the Chief’s palace where the briefing took place. The Sustainable Development Goals and its contribution to development were the topics for presentations and discussions.Much to our delight, Madam Fati, a 45-year old farmer in the community, stood up at the end of the event to voluntarily express her appreciation to the team for thinking of their community and sharing information about the SDGs with them. She also expressed her delight to know that the world has not forgotten about their plight and that of the future generation.

Perhaps the climax of the outreach activities was at the Ejisu Central market. It was on Thursday and indeed a market day when farmers and traders bring their goods and wares to sell on the streets. Market days are usually busy and hectic for traders and farmers. This was the moment when UNIC Accra and its partners, Abibimman Foundation and Young People we Care (YPWC), decided to present the SDGs to the traders and the general public of the area. Some market traders and shoppers stopped to listen to us as others went by their own business. For this group of audience, the five Ps – People, Planet, Progress, Peace and Partnership was the focus of the presentation.

At the end of the day, the translated SDGs postcards were distributed to the traders who were very keen on understanding what the SDGs meant to their wellbeing. They also had the opportunity to ask questions which were addressed by the UNIC Accra National Information Officer, Ms. Cynthia Prah and translated in Akan by the Executive Director of YPWC, Mr. Harrison Obeng Debrah.

Earlier, the people of Edwenase, an outskirt of Kumasi, the capital of Kumasi, had their share of information on the SDGs. Here the Chief of the town, Nana Antwi Bosiako warmly welcomed UNIC Accra and the team. He also encouraged the people of the community to do what they could to help promote the SDGs.

Categories: Accra
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International Women's Day in Ghana

08 March 2013

UNIC Accra led the UN system in a partnenership with the Goethe-Institut, the German cultural centre in Accra, to hold a discussion and dinner event to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.  The event was well attended by women and men of all walks of life including Members of Parliament, University Lecturers, Business Women, traditional leaders, UN staff, representatives from the public sector, diplomatic community and students.  They discussed issues on the history of women’s emancipation, the achievements, challenges and the way forward.

The nearly 4-hour programme began with a welcome statement by the Resident Coordinator, Ruby Sandhu-Rojon and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Hannah Tetteh.  The discussions were very interactive.

Some of the way forward actions proposed by participants were:
-To link the fight against Gender Based violence to the economic empowerment of women as many violence acts perpetrated against women and girls go unreported due to poverty
-To involve men all the way in the Fight against GBV
-A call to MPs present to promote the passage of the property rights of spouses bill when it is relayed before parliament
-A call to the media to do better than the usual quick reportage of GBV to conducting an in-depth analysis of the issue/cases
-A call to start training both girls and boys early from the primary schools on Gender issues in order to avoid current problems in the future.

16 days of activism: Visiting an “outcast” home

03 December 2012

They number about 600, including women, children and men.  They have come to Tindang, a small community in Gnani outside Yendi, out of fear from accusers who threaten them as witches and murderers.

As part of the activities to mark this year’s 16 Days of activism against gender-based violence, on 26 November, the UN Information Centre in Accra, the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MoWAC) and other partners visited Tindang to spend some time and collect additional information on witch camps across the country. 

Tindang is headed by a fetish priest known as Liwunli Banenba, who as the Chief of the community, exorcises ‘witches’ and frees them from the bondage of evil forces.

Fati, who looks 75 years old but has forgotten her real age, recalls that she willingly came to the Tindang “witch camp” more than 20 years ago because she wanted the truth.  She had been accused of murdering her husband’s brother and even though it was established that she did not kill her brother in-law, she could not return home for fear of being humiliated and chastised. Today, as her eldest daughter, Sana, lives with her and cares for her. 

Another resident, accused murderer, Tanam, explained “I cannot farm nor go for water.  I am so vulnerable and depend on the services of others”.

These are just two of the many stories of human rights violations of people accused of witchery. According to Alhassan Shei, the son of the community fetish priest, when the women refuse to return to their homes they are left to remain in the community. 

While the visit aimed to find ways of eliminating such societies, the community was not pleased to see the outsiders because, according to Alhassan Shei, they receive numerous visitors from public and private organizations and institutions who promise to engage the authorities to bring water, electricity and schools. Yet, they never return.  

The Head of Research and Senior Project Officer of MoWAC, Mrs. Juliana Amponsah said the Ministry is aware of the existence of such communities particularly in the northern part of the country and efforts will be made to address their needs.  

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Categories: Accra
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