I have always wanted to bring a change in my community. I believe in determination, courage, the technical knowhow and the spirit of” Do it Your Self” will always contribute to a positive change in my community.
I have always had a passion for community work and always want to start an initiative to move my community to a better stage. To follow my dreams I have worked with women and girls focused organizations that aims at law and policy reforms, advocacy and leadership building for the betterment of conditions of women and girls. Women and girls bear the brunt of hardship in most communities in Africa.
My job took me to most places in Ghana, rural, peri -urban and urban towns. Lessons I gathered from my work on why most communities are behind development were attributed to Ignorance of the laws, ignorance of their civic rights and responsibilities, inhumane cultural and traditional practices meted out to girls and women, lack of education on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), ignorance of their human rights, the rights to stand up for oneself, and lack of self-confidence etc.
With early and forced marriages a problem, in some rural communities in Ghana, I worked in a team to reduce the prevalence of early and forced marriages among adolescent girls and teenagers in some selected regions in Ghana known for its high rate of teenage pregnancies, and school dropout. This was a project which aimed at educating young girls and boys on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The project’s objectives among others was for the teenagers to own their bodies, have a voice on what they think is not good or bad for their body, have confidence in themselves, have their own values, and knowledge on domestic violence etc.
In my team, we work with the community structures, school children and teachers. We have formed peer educators, gender and leadership clubs etc, to encourage young people to ask questions about their sexuality and to report sexual abuses meted out to them. The sad experience of some of these young girls from sexual abuse, both in school and in their domestic settings leaves much questions to be answered.
The question is, what happened to other teenagers and young adults who do not have access to such information? How do we reach them? How do we equip them with such information?
How do they stand up for their rights, own their bodies, voice out issues of sexual abuse and all abusive act meted out to them? How do they get the courage to brave through challenges and visualize themselves as change makers in their communities and work hard to achieve their dreams?
Knowing how education matters and the fact that not all people are privileged to get education on reproductive health and rights, I took it upon myself to go extra mile to make such information easy to be assessed by all regardless of how culture makes it difficult for them to openly talk about it or get information on it.
It is for this reason that I figured out that digital tools can be of great help. In this era of social media, and smart phones, it will be a good avenue to share such information to reach many teenagers and young people and adults on such topics and issues. Animation or cartoons on such topics and other apps can be a great help to send such messages to lots of people. In this our era of smart phones, it is an easy and fun way to learn new information to equip ourselves and to gather a mass of people to join forces to do away with negative practices that hinder our development.