Founder of Nneka Youth Foundation, Cecilia Fiaka has challenged media practitioners to pay more attention to children and women and other vulnerable groups in deprived communities.
Addressing journalists from selected media houses at a workshop in the Volta Region, Madam Cecilia Fiaka expressed worry about the level of deprivation persons living in rural areas go through.
According to her, even when there are efforts to reach out to these persons in their areas, the bad nature of the road network as well as inadequate funds becomes a major challenging factor.
“I believe if in our own small ways, we can effect little changes in our home towns, then gradually the country will be a better place to live. It’s sad when you visit these areas and they look as if they are not part of the country. They are really deprived out here and so social vices are on the rise. It’s not as if the authorities don’t know about this, they do. Speak about them and leave the politics for another day.”
Mama Nneka, as Madam Fiaka is affectionately called by all indigenes, has defied all odds to affect lives of over 11,000 women, children and youth in 200 communities including Ve-Agbome and others in the Volta and Greater Accra regions with her initiatives.
Founded in 2012, the Nneka Youth Foundation has initiated Vocational Entrepreneurial Pathway (VEP-Ghana) aimed at empowering, equipping and mentoring teenage mothers and out-of-school girls from rural and deprived communities.
A palm oil processing project has also been initiated by the Foundation to mechanize the ways of palm oil extraction to ease the burden of the women.
Aside this, a scholarship scheme and educational logistics support has also been initiated to support educational needs of some students at the secondary and tertiary levels.
There is also a book drive initiative, which provides text books to schools to aid with teaching and learning, thus, improving academic performance tremendously in the communities.
The Foundation in its own way has initiated community sensitization projects on the rights of the child and the responsibility of parents towards them.
Last but not the least on the Foundation’s initiatives is a summer camping activity organized every year for youth across the length and breadth of the country.
This year’s camping event is slated for this month and about 3,500 participants are expected to take part.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service, about 600,000 of the 2.1 million people in the Volta Region are aged between 0–14 Years.
Women constitute 51 per cent of the total population of the Volta Region but little is said in the media about their needs and challenges.
According to her and other speakers at the one-day workshop held on the theme: ‘Empowering Children, Youth and Women: The Role of Media Practitioners’, in reality, there are often imbalances in coverage of women, youth and children.