The Young Voices project

MISSION
To empower adolescent girls and boys, young women and men to demand improved service delivery in maternal health, enabling them to engage in collective action to hold public officials accountable.

WHAT WE DO [MAIN ACTIVITIES]

  • Development of youth friendly social accountability tools with ISODEC
  • Training of Youth groups in use of social accountability tools
  • Advocacy skills
  • Gender issues,
  • RBA
  • Engagement meetings between youth and Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs)
  • District Health Management Teams (DHMT),
  • Advocacy
  • Radio programs
  • Monitoring of youth group activities.

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

  • In partnership with ISODEC effective, youth-friendly social accountability mechanisms and tools were developed and project staffs were trained in the use of the tools.
  • Trained 400 youth group members in the four districts (195 males/205 females) in the use of the SA tools to effectively monitor and evaluate the accessibility and quality of SRH services, including maternal health.
  • Used Rights based approaches and trained selected youth in gender and human rights issues in the contest of SRH and MH, Advocacy and engagement skills to be able to demand increased accountability and responsiveness of SRH services from District Health and Assembly Officials in the districts
  • Used drama approach to give participants in-depth understanding of the indicators in the community score cards.
  • Developed skills of 24 public officials/SRH Service Providers  and 40 youth selected from the 4 districts in gender sensitive budgeting to improve on gender sensitivity, accountability and responsive budgeting of local government and district health officials.
  • Oriented 40 religious and traditional leaders selected from the 4 districts on gender and human rights issues in the contest of youth SRH/MH issues and the purpose and importance of social accountability tools.
  • Embarked on community sensitization campaigns in communities and schools on SRH/MH/Rights issues by Health Service Providers and youth group members
  • Trained Youth administered the CSCs in their communities and gathered data on the quality, affordability, satisfactory, friendliness and accessibility of SRH/MH services and information.
  • Strengthened partnership between Youth groups and key stakeholders through engagement meetings.
  • Created Multi Stakeholder Fora in each district for Youth Leaders to engage stakeholders in each of the 4 Districts to gain their support on the YV project of which over 120 stakeholders pledged their support and signed commitment forms.
  • Successfully organized quarterly interface meetings between youth groups, community members and stakeholders to share Community score card results, assign roles and responsibilities and demand accountability
  • Family planning services among the youth increased from between 6-8 in a month to between 28 to 36 at the youth friendly centre in Somanya (Source family planning register adolescent friendly corner at Somanya community centre)
  • Akrusu in the Upper Manya Krobo district now has a health post with a nurse who resides in the community as a result of the youth group engagement with District Health Director and the MCE.
  • Drastic reduction in teenage pregnancy among school going adolescents at Kyeakor in the Mfantseman district from 18 in 2014 to 2 in 2015 due to condom sales among youth groups, friendly family planning services at the health centre and in-school education.
  • The Huhunya community in Yilo Krobo advocated for a new CHPS compound with an adolescent friendly corner for the youth which has been completed.
  • A Youth Group also advocated for a nurse’s bungalow in the Akateng community in the Upper Manya District which has been completed with the support of the traditional leaders – 24  hour services at Aketeng (nurses bungalow)
  • About 90% of the youth group members can comfortably use two of the social accountability tools Community Score Card (CSC) and the Budget Analysis.
  • The District Assemblies in the 4 Districts were also inviting the Youth Group Leaders to their budgeting meetings.
  • The youth group members can also confidently and effectively engage stakeholder on their SRH/MH issues demand for changes and hold them accountable.
  • All the 4 DAs and DHMTs collaborated very well with Pro-Link and the youth groups and have invited us to their meetings till date although the project has ended.
  • Community members educated on SRH/MH and also stopped destroying IE&C posters pasted in their communities.
  • Nurses Attitude changed positively towards the youth and provided user friendly services to the youth – Adolescents walk freely to facilities to report STI issues and access treatment.
  • Pro-link partnered with other plan project activities and UNILEVER to train youth groups in five communities in soap making – solve some unemployment issues among the youth.

PARTNERS
The European Union through Plan Ghana International

TIME PERIOD
April 2014 –March 2017.

LOCATION
Central Region;  Mfantseman, Abura Asebu Kwamankese (AAK)
Eastern Region ;  Yilo Krobo, Upper Manya Krobo

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