09.05.2005 Regional News

GES to Assist Virgin Clubs

By Space Fm,Sunyani
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The Sunyani Municipal Director of Education, Rt. Rev. Bishop Emmanuel Wiseman Kwasi Kusi, has said that the Ghana Education Service, GES, would through the School Health Education Programme, SHEP, assist all Virgin Clubs in the Municipality whenever the need arises to ensure that identified virgins are groomed properly for the benefit of the society and the nation as a whole. He noted that AIDS Committees are to be formed in schools to train Peer Counselors who will counsel and educate their peers on the HIV/AIDS disease.

The municipal director said this at the close of Virgins Clubs AIDS Walk, organised by the 6th March Women's Foundation, an NGO, in collaboration with the Ghana AIDS Commission in Sunyani under the theme; “Virgin: A Nation's Asset”.

Rev. Kusi pointed out that the formation of virgin clubs will go a long way to protect girls from unscrupulous men who go after these young girls only to destroy them.

“Virgin clubs can also help protect young girls from contracting certain Sexually Transmitted Diseases, STD's, including the dreaded HIV/AIDS”, he told Space FM.

Rev. Kusi revealed that four out of the forty students in the Sunyani municipality who could not sit for the just ended Basic Education Certificate Examination, BECE, were pregnant.

He added that a special monitoring team has been put in place to monitor these pregnant girls to ensure that they continue their education after delivering.

The education director observed that though the rate of HIV /AIDS infection seems to be going down, there is still the urgent need to continue with efforts to completely eliminate it from the society.

The president of the 6th March Foundation, Mrs Elizabeth Frimpong, noted that the foundation has trained volunteers providing house to house education and person to person HIV/AIDS education in five target communities namely Penkwase, New Dormaa, Abesim, Dumasua and Mantukwa, all in the Sunyani Municipality.

She added that the Foundation is providing care and support for Orphan Vulnerable Children that have been identified in selected schools with school uniforms, bags, books, pens, pencils, payment of school fees and medical bills.

Mrs Frimpong noted that the formation of the virgin's club is to encourage behavioral change among the youth especially the girl child.

The HIV/AIDS Focal Person for Jaman South, Mr. Augustine Peprah, called on the virgins to watch out for shameless men especially teachers, who may wish to lure them into sex relationship.

The Executive Director for the Center for sustainable Development, an NGO, Mr. Peter Suban, advised the virgins not to accept offers from men since that could lead to so many repercussions.

He suggested that virgin clubs should include boys.

The Headmaster of the Sacred Heart Primary School, Mr. Anthony Kwaku Asante, urged the virgins to live by the principles of their virginity so that the lord can live in them for His work.

Over 150 virgins drawn from the Sunyani High Street JSS, New Dormaa SDA JSS, Dumasua R/C JSS and Abesim Presby JSS attended the programme sponsored by the Ghana AIDS Commission.

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