From Sebastian R. Freiku .
The Afigya Kwabre Queenmothers Association, in collaboration with the Afigya Kwabre South District Assembly and Ghana Education Service (GES), last Friday performed puberty rites for six virgins to climax this year’s Bragoro Traditional Festival at Kodie, the district capital.
The association, founded in 2010 to unite queenmothers, champion girl child education, prevent early marriage, and encourage chaste lifestyles among the gild child, has launched preventive measures as part of activities to encourage young girls to remain chaste till adulthood.
The initiative is aimed at ending the increasing promiscuous lifestyles among girls in the communities.
Nana Ama Agyemang, Queenmother of Kodie Traditional Area, who doubles as the President of the Afigya Kwabre Queenmothers Association, has stated that the reintroduction of puberty rites in our various communities in the country would help minimise the high rate of teenage pregnancies and fornication by the youth.
According to her, the high rate of teenage pregnancies, fornication, and improper dressing of teenage girls is so overwhelming and called for the immediate intervention of queenmothers in the country to ensure the proper upbringing of the girl child.
She believes that the exercise will reduce sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) in these communities, and the schools which will be major agents to push the campaign.
The Queenmother disclosed that the Afigya Kwabre Queenmothers Association had initiated advocacy outreach programmes to help the girl child in various communities and schools, as well as education funds to assist any virgin girl who would be able to pass the puberty rites.
Nana Ama Agyemang called on parents to collaborate with Nananom (chiefs) to implement initiatives to be able to raise responsible, respectful future wives for responsible future husbands.
Obaapa Adwoa Nkyaa, known in private life as Nana Adjoa Awindor, who is the Development Queenmother (Nkosuohemaa) for Afigya Kwabre, stressed the need for stakeholders to support the initiative of the queenmothers, as a sure way to encourage young girls to stay chaste and prevent becoming teenage mothers.
The Nkosuohemaa said a fund raising activity had been proposed to enable the queenmothers acquire a bus to facilitate their movements to senior high schools and colleges in the district to educate and encourage the young ones to be chaste, and as well as the association’s advocacy programme.
Meanwhile, the District Chief Executive (DCE), Christian Adu Poku, has promised to support the initiative of the Afigya Kwabre Queenmothers Association to reintroduce puberty rites financially, in order to help minimise teenage pregnancies and school drop outs.
The DCE revealed the assembly has established a teenage girls club for sensitisation to augment the initiative of the queenmothers to encourage chaste lifestyles and avoid teenage pregnancies.
He also disclosed that the district can proudly boast of virgins who are up to 20 years, through the help of the Nananom Puberty Rites Initiative.