Student Appeals For Help
Yeji (B/A), A 16-year old student of Yeji Methodist Junior High School on Monday appealed to human rights organisations to intervene and stop her parents from forcing her into early marriage. Miss Juliana Kamanya said her parents had driven her away from home because of her refusal on four occasions to accept an offer of early marriage. She called on the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) and the Social Welfare Department to intervene. Miss Kamanya made the appeal at a forum organized by the Project Abroad of Human Rights, a Ghanaian-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) on advocacy and process of law making for basic school children, at Yeji in the Pru District of Brong-Ahafo Region. The forum, among other things, was to sensitize participants on the effects of domestic violence and child abuse in the area. Miss Kamanya said because she had refused to go into early marriage, her parents had shirked their responsibilities of caring for her, thus compelling her to go into fishing and farming to meet her educational needs. "I am humbly appealing to CHRAJ, DOVSSU and Social welfare to come to my aid," she said. Mr. Kenneth Palme, Project Coordinator of the NGO, who led a team of 29-member foreign delegation of the NGO, underscored the need for parents to show keen interest in the education of their children. He urged the students to learn hard irrespective of the trauma they went through. Messrs Robert Adjei and Stephen Tachie Abeam, Headmasters of local Roman Catholic and Methodist Junior High Schools respectively, expressed worry that students closed from schools around 12.00 pm on Mondays, a market day at Yeji, just to assist their parents in their economic activities. They expressed regret about the attitudes of some parents who often engaged their children of school going age to follow them to farms or fishing to the detriment of their education. The headmasters commended the NGO for the sensitization forum, saying that would enhance their education and eliminate child trafficking and child labour in the district. Mr Ephraim De-Souza, Atebubu District Director of CHRAJ, asked the students to report people who had the motive to defile or rape them to the police for the law to take its course.