PROJECT GOAL: The UNFPA Out of School Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (OOSSRHR) Project seeks to empower Young Persons Living with HIV (YPLHIV) and Young Persons in Detention (YPiD) with quality and adequate information, attitude, and skills on SRHR to facilitate the process of making healthy decisions and to communicate their choices clearly.
TARGET GROUPS: YPLHIV & YPiD
PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION SITES: Greater Accra, Ashanti & Northern Regions
Project activities include training of facilitators, reproductive health education sessions for YPLHIV and YPiD, training in livelihood skills and orientation of caregivers in disclosure skills. Additional activities were engagement meetings with key stakeholders, review meetings, follow up visits by Peer Educators to both new and old recruits to ensure adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy and mentoring of Peer Facilitators by GAC Ambassadors.
HFFG created strategic partnerships with community and national organizations to be able to mobilize and reach out to the target groups. Continuous review meetings with facilitators and UNFPA, Collaboration with the District Assemblies, Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and YHAG. And leveraging on existing structures like the ART staff and Models of Hope system to enhance work were some of the strategies developed over the three-year period of this initiative.
- A total of 719 YPLHIV comprising 329 males and 390 females were reached directly with SRHR educational sessions under the UNFPA OOS-SRHR project.
- A total of 171 YPiD were reached directly with SRHR educational sessions under the UNFPA OOS-SRHR project
- Successfully empowered 100 YPLHIV Economically with skills training to support their families be able to provide basic needs; especially their nutritional needs and for the Females to support menstrual hygiene needs (the purchase of sanitary pads)
- Through the engagement of YPLHIV under the OOS SRHR Project, potential cadres were selected and are serving in different capacities as Cadres (Models of Hope, Community Adolescent Treatment Supporters, Mentor Mothers and Peer Paralegals) under the Global Fund Community System Strengthening project across the regions contributing towards the 95-95-95 target.
- 36 YPiDs have been trained as peer facilitators in the James Camp Senior Correctional Centre to facilitate SRHR sessions through one-on-one and group sessions for their mates.
- YPLHIV Equipped and empowered to make healthy and informed choices.
- Capacity of YPLHIV built in value clarification, confidence and assertiveness to accept their status and to overcome Stigma and Discrimination
- Capacity of beneficiaries built as advocates who talk about HIV and HIV Related Issues.
- Peer facilitators mentored and are now meaningfully involved in HIV Programming, design and implementation. Two of these young ones have been given a voice at CCM during their meetings.
I am 19 years old and a student in a tertiary institution. I was born with HIV, and I have lived with it for the past 14 years. My mom disclosed my status to me in my early teenage years. Living with HIV has not been an easy road, but my mom has been of great support to me. The journey with HFFG and UNFPA so far has been very impactful and educational. These two organizations have given me the opportunity to be empowered by being equipped with the right information in making my sexual decisions.
This Out of School Project has:
- bestowed upon me the role of leadership as a facilitator, this has led me to teach my fellow peers the right information about Sexual and Human Rights.
- Networked with other young people
Truly grateful to UNFPA and HFFG for giving me this opportunity to learn and grow.
Though the project is ending in December 2022 young peer facilitators have been linked with ART Centres and will continue to engage with their peers. Again, linking recruited peers to the bigger support Group (YHAG) through the WhatsApp platform and quarterly review meetings also ensures continued engagement with beneficiaries.
A pro-bono psychologist is providing continuous psychological support to the young ones especially those who periodically have suicidal tendencies for support.
The skills training has empowered many of them who are now making some income to cater for their needs and also pay for their laboratory tests.