Curious Minds, adolescents and youth non-governmental organization has begun a two-week training programme for adolescents to help reduce unplanned pregnancies, HIV infections and sexual and gender-based violence.
The programme, which is being supported by UNESCO and partners is targeting adolescent health focal persons, school counsellors, tertiary institution representatives and community volunteers in the Central and Upper East region who are expected to return to their respective communities better equipped to achieve the set objectives.
The programme, dubbed O3; “Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future” is delivering accurate rights-based quality reproductive health education to reduce unplanned and unintended pregnancies, child marriages and sexual and gender-based violence by 2021.
A total of about 30 young people are expected to be trained at the end of the programme to ensure that the ultimate goal of reducing HIV infections and helping to fight sexual and gender-based violence in Talensi and Asikuma Odoben Brakwa districts is achieved.
The Chapter Clubs Officer at Curious Minds, Edmund Agbeve who is also the project lead said “the aim is to get them to understand the issues because we believe that young people form a critical component of resolving the issues of teenage pregnancy. We are starting from the Central Region engaging young people from Asikuma Odobeng Braka to become advocates within their communities.”
It has become important for us to engage these young people to halt and reverse the incidents of teenage pregnancy and STIs in the districts,” he added.
Asikuma Odoben Brakwa and Talensi districts are amongst the districts in Ghana with very high rates of teenage pregnancy.
Some participants who spoke to Citi News at the first session of the training described it as being insightful.
“I didn’t know there was a difference between HIV and AIDS, but now I do. I have learnt that HIV testing is possible and must be done every 3 months, not only for people who are sexually active. I will teach this and more to my peers when I’m back at Odoben- I hope they also learn and practice them to stay safe and avoid unwanted and unplanned pregnancies,” said a participant, Rhoda.
Michael Korsah Jnr., another participant at the training held in Cape Coast said, “The fund and educative capacity building equipped us with the right and age-appropriate information needed to help others make informed decisions.”