Youth Power Accountability Advocates

Since 2015, this initiative has provided Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) to over 1,000 teenagers and educated 40 rural mothers on maternal health in Ghana. Some of the girls who benefitted from the education and services were able to avoid pregnancy and stay in school

Teenage pregnancy in Ghana hit an all-time high in the year 2014 with 750,000 girls between the ages of 15-19 years being pregnant. One of the major factors that contributed to this problem which still persists was the absence of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and limited knowledge and access to contraceptives for young people.

As an advocate for women and girls’ rights and a member of Curious Minds, the changemaker behind this project began an initiative with support of Restless Development; a youth-led organization in the UK, to provide CSE and contraceptive services for young people. Together with a team, they further provided education to rural mothers in on how to reduce maternal death and ensure safe delivery. In a conservative society where tradition and religion criticize the use of modern contraceptives and sex education, not many young people will dare to be open.

Two women and a Queen Mother (Traditional Leader) who benefited from the education on safe delivery have taken up advocacy roles as a community peer educators encouraging women to visit the hospital for safe delivery rather than going to traditional birth attendants who are not certified or trained. This initiative did not only end with education and service provision. Dzikunu also works with a team of two other advocates and 20 data collectors to compile a report that identified gaps and challenges that prevent young people from accessing CSE and contraceptive services.

The findings of this report were presented to the Ghana Health Service and used the evidence influence the Ghana Adolescent Health Policy and Strategy. In 2017, Dzikunu was supported by Restless Development to present the report findings at 72nd United Nations General Assembly and subsequently in Tbilisi, Georgia during an Annual Showcase conference of the World Federation of United Nations Associations. By making these data and findings known to governments, civil society organization and other stakeholders, the project has received support such as grants from some organizations to continue empowering these young people.

Who is behind this?

Dzikunu Richard Mawutor