From a beneficiary to a facilitating role: The story of Abiba

The HFFG, UNFPA sponsored Out of School SRHR Education project is a three (3) year project which commenced in 2020 with a focus on engaging Young People Living with HIV (YPLHIV), as well as Young People in Detention (YPiDs) on major Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) topics and discussions with an aim of helping adolescents make the right decisions about their future and situations that confront them on SRHR issues.

The project is in its last year of implementation, and it has chalked some successes. In 2021, a total of 216 beneficiaries received comprehensive SRHR education under the project.

Abiba (not her real name) was one of the first beneficiaries (young people between the ages from 20-24) of the project in the first year of implementation. Like all other participants, Abiba was mobilized from one of the ART facilities tBNo undergo the planned sessions, after which she would be rolled out for other participants to benefit.

During the first year of implementation, there was one session where participants were honoured to have the Executive Director of HFFG participate. Mrs Cecilia Senoo, the Executive Director, during the discussion of challenging gender roles, empowered the participants and challenged them not to allow their conditions as YPLHIV to limit their potentials and their dreams.

Just after the session, the Project Officer responsible for the session, Mr. Caleb Sena, was approached by one of the beneficiaries, Abiba. Abiba was inspired by the encouraging words shared by the Executive Director and expressed interest in being a facilitator on the project.

This request came when all project facilitators had already undergone skills training on project facilitation. Therefore, the project team was a bit skeptical about giving the opportunity. However, being excited that our session on challenging gender roles, which was to inspire participants on their potential, was yielding results, the team decided to give Abiba a chance.

Since then, Abiba has exceeded all expectations with her unique facilitation skills; as part of her growth and development, Abiba moved on to join the YHAG group, an adolescent peer group of YPLHIV in HFFG and has since become one of the leaders of YHAG.

Abiba’s growth and progression unto YPLHIV since her first session is a beckon of hope and must encourage everyone never to give up and to challenge gender roles.