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SEaRcH Program Blog Happy & Frey Dec-2016

SEaRcH Program Blog

After years of research into girls’ education, including a series of interviews with key people in the District and communities, as well as focus groups with teenage girls, the poor performance of girls and teenage pregnancies were highlighted as being closely linked to one another. The question was - What could GHEI do to help with this!? The answer was - let’s talk about sex and reproductive health with kids in the local communities, because teaching in this area is not part of the school curriculum in Ghana, and it is culturally sensitive, especially in rural areas. Following careful planning, collaboration, development and training the amazing GHEI Team were ready to ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ and went off to run sessions with the schools in Humjibre and Muoho. Thus, GHEI’s Sexual Education and Reproductive Health Program (SEaRcH) was born in November 2016!!!

The schools and the community were delighted and simply asked ... “Why did it take you so long!?”

The GHEI team simply replied ... “We’re here now, and plan to remain!”

Initially, it was difficult for us to tackle this sensitive issue because of the cultural barrier and perceptions of the local community. But, over time, through inclusive involvement with the community, these barriers have slowly been broken down, and have been replaced with support and encouragement, for a program they think is invaluable for their children and the future of their community.

The GHEI Team are delighted about this new initiative, which involves a 5 year implementation period, starting with Primary 5 children and progressing over a 5 year period to Junior High School Form 3. The kids will receive 1 session per term, making 3 per year, and 15 sessions in total for the entire program. So far, we’ve run the first session in 5 schools, reaching 140 kids in Primary 5. The sessions focus on key areas, such as safe sex, STIs, self-esteem, and sexual rights, with interactive and student centred teaching methods being employed. But, this initiative would not have been possible without the help and support of various stakeholders, and we would like to wholeheartedly thank them: The Varkey Foundation; The District Social Welfare and Education Department; Teachers in the local schools; the research participants; The Chief and Queen Mother of Humjibre; and not least Humjibre and Muoho community members.

Freya & Happy

The Education ‘Dream Team’ Managers, GHEI 2016

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