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SUSBSTANCE ABUSE- MR.KASISE RICKY PEPRAH (NYAABA)

Most of my fellow sufferers are either too involved with our disease, to be invited or, if even invited, to bother to accept your invitation. The rest are dead. Those in-between are too weakened to offer anything useful on this occasion. Since my breed is rare, survivors I mean, I crave your indulgence to spare a few minutes for my account of my personal knowledge of these all- too-real tragic phenomena that are laying to waste too many brilliant and talented people.

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I am duty bound to be here, for there is none other I know who can give a first-hand, intimate and personal account of alcoholism, drug abuse and irresponsible youth life.

Most of my fellow sufferers are either too involved with our disease, to be invited or, if even invited, to bother to accept your invitation. The rest are dead. Those in-between are too weakened to offer anything useful on this occasion. Since my breed is rare, survivors I mean, I crave your indulgence to spare a few minutes for my account of my personal knowledge of these all- too-real tragic phenomena that are laying to waste too many brilliant and talented people.

In my experience, I find that dictionaries almost never offer the definitions you need when you need them. Last night was no exception as I tried to no avail to find the definitions of “alcoholism”, of “drug abuse” or of “irresponsible youth life”. I have therefore elected to provide working definitions for the three phenomena. For our purpose today, I dare to define “alcoholism” as “the continuous excessive use of and consequent dependence on alcohol, to the extent that it alters behavior, warps reality and endangers one’s life and/or that of others”. “Drug abuse, I plead to define as “the continuous and persistent misuse and use of medication and drugs, prescription and illicit, to induce temporary euphoric effects (a high), which use subsequently has to be maintained or increased, over time, in order to attain said hallucinatory effects” Finally, let us agree to define “irresponsible youth life” as “any behavior that is inconsistent with social mores and expectation”. Ladies and gentlemen, if no one is begrudging my operational definitions shall I then quickly move on to attempt to discuss their causes. Like many phenomena, the causes are many, diverse and varied.

“Alcoholism may be caused by peer pressure, acquiesced-to by apparent social acceptability or indifference and may be ignited by a misguided but widely held belief that it provides relief albeit temporary from nagging problems. There is also no accounting for the role of pure and naked puerile and youthful adventurism, normally starting with casual and occasional drinking euphemized as ‘social drinking’ and finally leading into full-fledged alcoholism. Same can be said of drug abuse. It starts as just a try, then another and soon turns into a craving and finally dependence, maybe not in that order.

Irresponsible youth life can be caused by any of the aforementioned or by pure truancy or delinquency. It may also emanate from maladjustment, personality disorder or simple rebellion. However, let it be said that some people are misfits, maybe even genetically programmed miscreants, plain and simple.

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to state categorically that I have received NO formal education in these matters. I am neither a psychiatrist nor clinical psychologist. I am not a sociologist and definitely not an anthropologist. I am simply a recovering alcoholic, literate enough and sufficiently desperate to read the available literature. Since I am also lucky to still have a fair amount of my brain intact and recovering, I have, on occasion, consciously and otherwise engaged in analytical thought of these issues. Personally, I have been guilty, not of one or two but of all three of the cankers that we are attempting to understand today.

Ladies and gentlemen, the effects of these three maladies are plenty and varied BUT all unanimously negative. Their effect, negative of course, go from threats to your profession and professionalism, impediments to your smooth study, trouble in family life and marriage and finally causes extensive ill health. Be warned that when one of the three makes an entry into your life, progress walks out of your life. One comes in and your sanity is threatened, One comes in and your studies, job or profession is in jeopardy. Their beginning in your life is the end of everything good in it. What then is the way forward? I have said on other occasions and repeat here today that the best way to prevent alcoholism, drug abuse and the resultant irresponsible youth life is NOT to even start trying out with these substances.

DO NOT BEGIN IF YOU HAVEN’T YET.

STOP IF YOU HAVE BEGUN.

And SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP IF YOU CAN NOT STOP.

I want to end with the words of LEO BUSCAGLIA; ’your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God’ THANK YOU.

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CHARTERHOUSE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FRYTOL HOSTS THE 4TH NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT

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To commensurate the world’s annual celebration and honoring women dubbed International Women’s Day, leading event’s company, Charterhouse in partnership with Frytol has successfully hosted the 4th edition of its annual National Women’s Summit. The summit was held on 8th March at the Grand Arena inside the Accra International Conference Center.

Theresa Ayoade, convener of the summit and CEO of Charterhouse, Theresa Ayoade as part of her opening speech “I believe each year we make more progress towards gender parity. This year’s theme is so apt right now because it challenges each of us here to be intentional about breaking biases towards women. Right from the homes and how we socialize our male and female children. What are the things we say to them and how do our culturally and socially accepted gender roles continue to perpertuate these biases against our gender? I have been guilty of gender bias and I was called out by my daughter. Then I realised that I was unconsciously exhibiting biases out of probably my upbringing. How do we sow seeds now so there’s a pipeline for the next Women Leaders? This is what the NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT is about”

The keynote speaker was in the person of Mrs. Abiola Bawuah. She is the Regional CEO, West Africa, overseeing the group’s business in nine countries. She joined UBA Ghana in 2013 as Deputy Managing Director and was elevated to serve as the MD/CEO of UBA Ghana in 2014. She was appointed in 2018 as Regional CEO West Africa One, responsible for 6 countries. She touched on the constant need to give the girl child a chance to do and be more.

As part of the summit, panel discussions were held on two themes namely; BREAK THE BIAS and YOU DESERVE A LIFE OF GOODNESS and these featured some of the most experienced business leaders in Ghana who were invited to also share their stories and expertise. The panelists for the Break the bias session included, Dr. Mabel Banson, first female Neurosurgeon in Ghana. Theresa Yamson, CEO- Riker (GIHOC) Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Anna Nabere – Manager SHE LEADS project by Plan International and finally students from Accra Girls Senior High school namely, Marie Lyse Quansah and Nafisa Mohammed.

4TH NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT
4TH NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT

In her speech, Patience Ofori Mpereh, Marketing Director – Wilmar Africa, said “Every woman has a desire to manage and balance everything; family, profession, Raising children and others; and to live her life to the fullest- this I believe most of us here can relate. As we juggle all activities as wives, single women, mothers, or professionals, we ought to remember that our mental, physical and financial framework among many others need to be sound”. She ended her speech by unveiling the brand ambassador for Frytol. “She is a woman who resonates with our target audience: a professional woman with years of experience in the media, a radio anchor, one of Ghana’s finest actors, a wife & a mother of two and a fitness advocate, who strives to balance it all as a woman.  Therefore, on this journey of Goodness, we are happy to announce for the very first time, the Frytol Brand ambassador Nisirine Ashorkor Doku- popularly known as Naa Ashorkor”

Speaking on the ‘You deserve a life of goodness’ panel featured distinguished Ghanaian business leaders; Ewuraba Ekua Adusei – Currently the Marketing manager of Wilmar Africa Limited with over 10 years’ experience in the FMCG. Akosua Amponsah Baffour Asiedu-Jones – CEO and general manager of Distribution & Co Limited (“DnC”), a full service distributor of FMCGs. Quiana Canfor-Dumas, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science degree in Operational Management. Mrs. Helena Adu-Gyamfi – Managing partner of Perfect Personal Care and last but not least, Renee Opare-Otoo, a registered and licensed dietitian with over five years’ experience and consults as a nutritionist for the Ghana Football Association (the first ever appointed) and also offers in-person and virtual nutrition consultations for some clinics. 

Panel discussions were moderated by Edem Knight-Tay, programs manager, Joy Fm and newly unveiled brand ambassador, Naa Ashokor. The event was also coupled with an exceptional performance from songstress Cina Soul.

The 4th National Women’s Summit is sponsored by FRYTOL, supported by SHE LEADS by PLAN INTERNATIONAL, and produced by CHARTERHOUSE in collaboration with JOY FM.

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PLAN INTERNATIONAL LAUNCHES ‘SHE LEADS’ MEDIA CAMPAIGN

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SHE-LEADS-MEDIA-CAMPAIGN

She Leads…In a world where being a female means working extra hard to ‘catch up’ to what many call ‘a man’s world’, it is imperative that all avenues be used to remind society of the proverb ‘if you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.

It is with this background that Plan International launches a media campaign dubbed ‘SHE LEADS’.

The campaign was launched on International Women’s Day (IWD), which is celebrated on 8th of March each year. The celebration is to recognize women’s social, economic, and political achievements. It also highlights the importance of creating conditions favorable to women for their full and equal participation in social development.

Presenting the general overview of the project, Anna Nabere, Program Manager of the Campaign, stated that the strategic objective of the project is to increase sustained influence of girls and young women (GYW) on decision-making and the transformation of gender norms in formal and informal institutions. She added that, the long-term aim (impact) of She Leads is that GYW’s perspectives are included in gender responsive laws and policies and societal norms and practices.

In her presentation, she delved into the geographic focus of the campaign. “East Africa (Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya), West Africa (Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia) and the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan). Regional level programs, targeting regional institutions and others. In Ghana, specifically Ashanti Region, North East Region, Central Region, Western North region, Upper West Region and Greater Accra Region.

The keynote speaker of the event, Sheila Minkah-Premo Esq. – Women’s Rights Activist And Convenor Of The Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, in her presentation on “Bias Towards Women Leadership – Addressing The Challenge”. She reiterated that women are not given enough seats at the ‘high tables’ “Women’s Rights Activist and Convenor of the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition. Women have been marginalized in governance. The percentage of women in Parliament is a reflection of the imbalance. The percentage has ranged from 9.6% in 1960 to 8.7 in 2008 to the current Parliament of 2021 where we have 40 out of 275 making it 14.45%. We have had one female Speaker of Parliament since independence with the rest being male. We have never had a female President or vice president. Ministerial positions have always had more men than women. The Judiciary has more men in the Superior as well as Lower Courts than women and have had two female Chief Justices since independence”. 

She ended by calling on stakeholders to come on board to make this campaign a success and women to aspire to do and be more “As you launch the She Leads project today, I look forward to the opportunities it will create to enable young women aspire for leadership. Women are capable of achieving laurels in the public and private sectors. They need to be equipped and inspired to aspire for leadership. There is also the need to break the bias to make their push for leadership possible. This can be made possible by laws like the Affirmative Action (Gender Equality) Law, which will put in place programmes to ensure that there is a level playing field for both sexes”.

Songstress Adina Thembi was introduced and unveiled as the official brand ambassador for the She Leads Campaign.  She performed for the first time, the official jingle for the Campaign.

The official pledge for the campaign “I pledge to give a girl a chance because when she leads, we gain”

The She Leads Project is by Plan International Ghana in partnership with Defense for Children Ghana, Women Aspire Network and Gender Centre for Empowering Development, with funding support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

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THE 4TH NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT COMES OFF

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NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT : According to G.D. Anderson, ‘Feminism is not about making women strong. Women are already strong. It is about changing the way the world perceives that strength’. Imagine a world where gender inequality is a thing of the past. A world free of bias and stereotypes, where being a female does not mean working twice as much. Marked annually, International Women’s Day is a day set aside to celebrate women’s achievements and raise awareness about women’s equality.    

It is with this in mind that, the NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT comes off every 8th March for 3 consecutive years in celebration of International Women’s Day. In its 4th edition, this year’s event comes off at the Grand Arena, Accra International Conference Centre from 9am.

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NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT – Theme

The Summit will be held under the joint themes: #BREAK THE BIAS….and YOU DESERVE A LIFE OF GOODNESS. The Global theme of #BREAK THE BIAS is a clarion call to society at large to break biases and stop gender stereotyping women. The sub-theme YOU DESERVE A LIFE OF GOODNESS is a call for women to aspire for a Life of Goodness in their daily pursuits, by paying attention to their wellbeing because they need to be well in body, mind and spirit to be able to fully take a seat at the table.

Interesting panel discussions on #BREAK THE BIAS will be held by an eclectic mix of females across generations and professions, who will discuss what Bias is, share their personal experiences of Bias, how they rose above that to achieve their personal dreams and successes and most importantly, how we can all together as a society and as individuals make a conscious effort to break the biases against females.

The second session will be a Wellness session titled YOU DESERVE A LIFE OF GOODNESS, presented by FRYTOL and other Wellness Professionals which will feature discussions on healthy eating, physical and mental health and how all these lead to Living a life of Goodness.

The 4th NATIONAL WOMEN’S Summit will be aired live on JOY FM from 10am – 12noon, and on Facebook @ FRYTOLGHANA, Youtube @ CHARTERHOUSE LIVE

And is sponsored by FRYTOL, supported by SHE LEADS and produced by CHARTERHOUSE in collaboration with JOY FM.

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