October 19, 2018 2:58 pm

A 16-year old girl rescued from child marriage has received a sewing machine to help her accomplish her dream of becoming a dressmaker. The item, which was bought through the efforts of Bibir Ghana NGO, was officially presented by the Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Gifty-Twum Ampofo, during a short meeting at her office at the Ministry’s headquarters on Friday 19th October, 2018.

The girl, who was rescued by the intervention of the Helpline of Hope Call Center of the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection (MoGCSP) in June 2018, saw her wish of getting a personal sewing machine happily granted to aid her pursue her vocational skills training. She gained admission to the South La Girls Vocational School with payment of her fees sponsored by two NGOs:  The Girl in Need Foundation & Center for Development Initiative.

Presenting the item, Hon. Gifty-Twum Ampofo expressed her gladness towards a successful rescue carried out by her Ministry that has saved a life, a hope, and a dream from lost. She was also relieved because of the expression of courage and willingness of the victim to get back to school and make something great out of her life.

Speaking some words of advice and encouragement to the girl, Hon. Gifty-Twum urged her to work hard and become a role model to girls who may fall victim of early child marriage. She mentioned, “Focus in your heart that one day, when someone gets into where you found yourself, you are going to be a role model, a mentor for that person to get out”. She added that, she, has received a hand machine today but would be in a better position to offer something bigger (an industrial machine) to another in a similar situation. The Hon. Deputy Gender Minister admonished the girl to get the bad experience out of her mind and focus fully ahead.

To conclude, Hon. Gifty-Twum expressed her gratitude to the NGOs – The Girl in Need Foundation, Center for Development Initiative, and Bibir Ghana – who supported the girl with her school fees and sewing machine so she can successfully undertake her dressmaking training. She noted that efforts of partners and stakeholders greatly help the Ministry of Gender deliver on its mandate.

Present at the meeting were Heads of the Social Protection Directorate, Domestic Violence Unit, and the Helpline of Hope Call Center.


Background of the Case

A Girl aged 16, who had been forcefully given into marriage to an old man, a herbalist, whom the girl’s mother went to seek for traditional medical attention, was successfully rescued and reintegrated into society. The rescue mission was achieved through the concerted efforts of the Helpline of Hope Call Center of the  MoGCSP, Social Protection Directorate of MoGCSP, Ada District Police Service, and the Ada West District Social Welfare Officer who primarily reported the case.

The girl ended up in a forced marriage because her mother had a mutual agreement with a herbalist that if she got better after receiving treatment from him, her daughter will be given into marriage with the herbalist. Unfortunately, the mother of the girl did not survive the medical attention and died. The herbalist took in the girl as his wife after the mother’s death.

Between 30th May 2018 and 14th June 2018, when all coordination arrangements were concluded between the Helpline of Hope Call Center with the Ada West Social Welfare Director, Social Protection Directorate at the Ministry, the District Police Commander and the Shelter for Abused Children at Osu (temporary placement), the rescue operation took place on the 18th June 2018. During the rescue, the police also arrested the alleged perpetrator and he was placed in custody pending investigations.  The girl was taken into Ada West Clinic where she had an initial physical medical assessment and later taken to the Shelter for Abused Children at Osu and all the documents were handed over to the Social Welfare Officer at the Shelter for Abused Children.

After all process of reintegration completed by the Helpline of Hope Call Center Team and the Team of the Child Marriage Unit under the Domestic Violence Unit (DOVSU) who formally took over the case, the girl was offered a provisional enrolment at the South La Girls vocational school to continue with the dressmaking training pending the payment of fees. Fortunately, the able involvement of NGOs helped settle issues of fees payment.

The Girl in Need Foundation and Center For Development Initiative supported her in terms of her school fees and the Bibir Ghana in the Northern region also supported her with Sewing machine which was presented to her by Hon. Gifty-Twum Ampofo together with Heads of the Social Protection Directorate, Domestic Violence Unit, and Help Line of Hope Call Center on the Friday 19th October, 2018 at the MoGCSP Headquarters.