Curious Minds Ghana, a youth-led advocacy non-profit organisation, has trained 66 youth advocates and youth organisations across Ghana on the UNICEF Youth Advocacy Guide.
Held in three (3) folds with support from the UNICEF country office, these capacity-building training happened in Cape Coast, Sunyani, and Bolgatanga for the southern, middle and northern belts of the country respectively.
This training comes on the back of efforts employed by Curious Minds to strengthen public and policy advocacy to end harmful practices in Ghana, and place youth advocates, as well as youth groups/organisations in better positions to work towards results-oriented advocacy.
The Finance/Operations Manager for Curious Minds and a co-facilitator for the training Mr. Prince Kwesi Bonney, “our aim for working with UNICEF to train young people across Ghana on the youth advocacy guide is to empower youth advocates and youth organisations by equipping them with effective advocacy strategies that will enhance their ability to connect with diverse audiences within their communities.
“We are looking at how they can utilise tailored content to successfully engage their identified networks and target audiences while maximising their impact. With this, we believe young people can contribute to the fight against harmful practices like child marriage in Ghana in their own small ways, and intensify youth advocacy for the better,” he added.
Boakyewaa Akosua Sarpong from Innovate Ghana in the Bono Region shared her experience, stating that “the training provided me with a comprehensive understanding of mental health and how it impacts young people. As an advocate, this knowledge would enable me to raise awareness about mental health issues and promote accurate information, reducing stigma and misconceptions.”
Aminu Ibrahim, a youth advocate from the Upper West Region recounted his expectations prior to the training saying; “at the receipt of the invitation to be part of the youth advocacy guide training, I deemed it a rare privilege and had no expectations other than looking forward to improving my knowledge in advocacy and to connect with like-minded youth and foster collaborative engagements.”
“Indeed, I gained practical knowledge of advocacy through the interactive sessions, case studies, group activities, and real-life examples that were incorporated into the training. The sharing of case studies and success stories of youth-led advocacy campaigns further informed me of the power young people’s voices wield, and I am greatly inspired to take action in my community. Through the practical hands-on activities, the interactive group works and deliberate networking opportunities, I learnt incredibly from fellow advocates and also built connections with them”, he added.
The Accra-based CSO- Act for Change member, Samuel Lamptey stated that “this training was probably one of the most informative, interactive and fun training I have had the opportunity to participate in. From the trainers to the participants, everyone seemed to be fully aware and prepared to share knowledge and experiences. This training on the UNICEF Advocacy Guide will most certainly enhance the quality of advocacy campaigns and my support of fellow advocates to maximise and achieve greater results. Seeing young people lead the training was inspiring as well. That is meaningful youth participation!”
This training was implemented as part of Curious Minds’ Youth public and policy advocacy campaign to end harmful practices in Ghana, with support from UNICEF.