Major International day celebrations and Festivity period such as Easter season in recent times, present an opportunity for Unity Queens Ghana to embark on community empowerment events. This year the Queen mothers comprising of leaders from diverse communities of Ghana embarked on series of activities before and during the Easter on the River events at the Sokpoe Tortsogbe Festival 2023.
Normally, A good number of the membership of Unity Queens Ghana spend many days in the year touring Schools and Communities across Ghana – Educating, Empowering and Informing the public on vital issues on health, economic welfare, their rights as humans and their roles in their various communities.
The South Tongu District week-long event started on Monday 3rd April,with the arrival of over 20 Queen-mothers from Ashanti, Central, Eastern and Volta Regions in Ghana to join many others from the Sokpoe community and environs for a very well-planned program.
The series of events commenced with The ENGAGE To EMPOWER School tour to 4 schools (Dabala Senior High School, St. Catherine Senior High School, Comboni Technical/Vocational School and Sogakope Senior High School), from Tuesday the 4th through Wednesday the 5th of April.
The School Tour which addressed over 6,000 Students Focused on 4 Advocacy Topics:
- Menstrual Hygiene
- Drug and Substance Abuse
- Teenage Pregnancy and Child Marriage
- Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) / Domestic Violence (DV)
The engagements were very exciting and interactive with brief presentations from the Queen-mothers, Teachers and resource persons, giving enough room for questions and answer sessions, peer education, quizzes etc..
The students put up Cultural displays, Poetry and Drama to punctuate the conversations and also to entertain the guests.
OBAAPA Development Foundation took advantage of this year’s Cultural Festival in Sogakope to organise the usual Obaapa Women & Children’s Day event. This has become part of the Festival Calendar in many parts of Ghana where the organisation has coordinated the Unity Queens Ghana membership to participate in the Festival programs with their Advocacy and Empowerment sessions.
The Sokpoe program had a very rich content:
- Free Health Screening & Family Planning Services by Marie Stopes Int. (Ghana).
- Advocacy on (Child Protection, Medaakye Nti, Mother/Infant Mortality, Teenage
- Pregnancy, Ending Child Marriage, Drug Abuse) etc.
- Feedback from students who participated in the Advocate to Empower Tour
- Cultural Exchange & Best Practice shared from Queen-mothers
- Mentorship and Empowerment Sessions
- Entertainment (Dance, Poetry & Drama Performances)
- Cooking Competition and Indigenous Food Fair
- Social networking for Resource Persons, Queen-mother’s and the Youth
Participating schools of the Advocate to Empower series, were presented with Sanitary Pads, Writing Pads and Pens donated by the World Vision Int. Ghana office in Accra.
The Tortsogbe Festival was crowned with a Grand Durbar on Saturday the 8th of April, featuring the chiefs and royalties of Sogakope and across the country. This platform was also utilized by the Queen-mothers (represented by Mama Akorsuba from Sokpoe),to brief the gathering of their activities in the community.Mama Akorsuba related not only the activities of this year, but impact made over the 5-year period OBAAPA Development Foundation and partners have been engaging with the community. Mama said “Teenage Pregnancy has now been brought to the barest minimum in the community”
The Chairman of the Grand Durbar, Elder Maxwell Amekpor (Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Shekinah Glory Hotel at Sogakope)acknowledged and thanked Queen-mother NanaHemaa Awindor and the OBAAPA Development Foundation members for the great impact they have made over the years through their Teenage Mothers Back to School Project and theUnity Queens Ghana for the school visits and community engagements.
The Unity Queens Ghana aim to enhance awareness with discussions on various issues like Teenage pregnancy, Sexual And Reproductive Rights, Mother &Infant mortality., Child Trafficking, Child Labour, Drug Abuse, Child Delinquency etc.. during Festivals in Ghana. The Queen-mothers intend to educate people in the rural communities by breaking down the information in government Policies, with guidelines, rules of compliance to follow to evade some of these challenges, as well as means of navigating their way out of them if already facing it and also how to intervene and assist their loved ones who are embroiled in them.
Premier Productions Ltd., the leading media brand of Queen-mother Obaapa Awindor; Development Queen-mother of Afigya-Kwabre District Ashanti region in Ghana was present to cover all the activities.