The World Food Program (WFP) has awarded sponsorship packages to 129 school girls from deprived communities in the three Northern Regions, under its scholarship scheme, to ensure that brilliant but needy girls get access to quality education in the country.
Each of them received a cheque ranging between GH¢600 and GH¢400, while educational materials and hampers were presented to the best six students, who excelled in the 2010 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), by scoring between aggregate six and 15.
The WFP Country Director, Mr. Ismail Omer, speaking at the ceremony in Yendi, last Friday, stated that, the programme, which is aimed at promoting girll enrolment, attendance and retention in areas with high gender disparity, is being implemented in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service.
He said it was the successes that had characterised the programme that had made the WFP to extend it to cover 30,000 girls, some of whom are in the Volta and Brong-Ahafo Regions.
He stressed that girl education was critical in the fight against poverty, disease and hunger, especially in the northern region where poverty was endemic among women.
Mr. Omer thereby entreated all the stakeholders to step up efforts to ensure the success of the programme.
He maintained that the WFP was fully committed to assisting the government to achieve quality education in the country and as such the WFP intends extending its support for the school feeding programme, nutrition support to vulnerable groups including people living with HIV and their families, and support to households affected by climate shocks, Mr. Ismail said.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba, urged the beneficiaries to serve as role models for the young ones who are to write their exams in the near future.
He also congratulated the award winners for their hard work done and urged them to forge ahead in the quest for knowledge, improve themselves and their community and the nation a well.
Mr. Mabengba charged DCEs in the Northern Region to consider offering more sponsorship to brilliant but needy girls in their district.