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Africa Faith and Justice Network engages Bogkurugu Community on how to end child marriages

The Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), have engaged Bogkurugu Community in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region on how to end child marriage.

The Bogkurugu Community is one of the communities with high incidents of early and forced marriages in the region.

It is against this back drop that AFJN is holding advocacy meetings in these communities to change their mindset.

The AFJN is a community of advocates for responsible United States relations with Africa. The network focuses on issues of peace building, human rights and social justice that tie directly into Catholic social teaching.

The AFJN first met with the elders of the community to understand the issues that are prompting them to force their children into early and forced marriages.

The parents put the blame on the youth. “They go out to school and other places where we are not there to control or monitor them, before you know they are pregnant.  It’s not our wish that they get married but they are the ones causing it” Madam Latifa Yakubu said.

To get the fair understanding of the situation, the AFJN team decided to meet the youth but they also put the blame on their parents.

One of the youths in the community, Abdul Manan said sometimes the demand by some parents for their children to give them money is the cause of early child marriage.

“As a parent you know your child is not working or earning any income and you are asking her to give you money, what it means is that the child has no money, what will she do? She will have to look for a man because the parent makes demands” he said.

Director in-charge, AFJN Ghana, Ignitia Sarfowa Boabeng said child marriage was beyond traditions but there were other factors.

“We came to meet the people, and the elders on how best early child and forced marriage can end but when we came it took different things all altogether,  we saw that their tradition which used to be is no more but the problem as we saw there was still early or childhood marriage but the problem was not that they were given into it they all based it on the youth or children and at that time the youth were not there to take part in this conversation, so we decided to come again to do something with the youth” she said.   

Sister Ignitia said the turnout to the advocacy discussion is a sign that something positive will change, adding that it will encourage their advocacy going forward.

She said as part of activities to help address the situation, the community has been tasked to form two youth clubs, one for the boys and the other for the girls where they can be educated on the negative impact of early or forced marriage.

Similar engagements was also organized for communities in the Savelugu Municipality and the Sagnarigu District.

Story By: Alhassan Imoro

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