Leaving no one behind: Empowering Young People Living with Disabilities Under the Guso Project

Young Persons Living with Disabilities (YPWDs) need Sexual and Reproductive Health information, education and services so that they can make informed Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR ) decisions for themselves and live healthy.  

As an organization that prioritizes the inclusiveness of Young Persons Living with Disabilities in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in all our programme implementations, HFFG under the under the Get Up, Speak Out (GUSO) project funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through SIMAVI,  has empowered over  400 young people (10-24 years) from the Yumba Special School and the Savelugu School for the Deaf, both in the Northern Region of Ghana, to voice out and stand up for their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Under the project, HFFG has also empowered 30 peer educators in both schools to provide SRHR information and education to their peers both in and out of school. Two SRHR clubs have also been formed in both schools to offer students the opportunity to discuss Sexual and Reproductive Health issues that prevents young persons from achieving their potential.

“The GUSO project has empowered me as a girl living with hearing impairment to be confident and demand for my Reproductive Health Rights and know where to seek redress when I am abused.

The project has also given me knowledge on changes my body goes through as a girl, especially during menstruation.  I can say that some of my peers found it difficult to come to school when they were menstruating but we are now empowered and can handle menstruation better and stand up against stigma,” said Kassim Zuweira, a 16-year old member of the Savelugu School for the Deaf GUSO SRHR club.

Since 2016, HFFG has, on the GUSO intervention, reached over 22,000 young people including those living with HIV, with comprehensive SRHR information at the community level to ensure that they fully enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights and stand up against harmful practices like child marriage, rape and other cultural norms that affects young people.

As part of the Project, HFFG works with policy makers, community opinion leaders and public institutions like the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Health Service (GHS), District Assemblies and the Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). Over 30 media personnel have also been trained on how they can diffuse the myths and culture of silence and stigma associated with reproductive health issues of young people.