Some 890 young persons have benefitted from an out of school sexual reproductive health and rights project to empower them economically and to make healthy choices.
The three-year project, which commenced in 2020, was carried out by Hope for Future Generations, a non-governmental organisation.
Supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), it empowered young persons living with HIV (YPLHIV) and young people in detention with quality, adequate information and skills to enable them to make healthy decisions and to communicate their choices clearly.
The beneficiaries were drawn from the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Northern Regions.
Some of them were empowered with vocational skills, including beads making, to support themselves and their families economically.
Others were trained as cadres and peer facilitators at various outfits and correctional homes, to become meaningfully involved in HIV programming.
These were disclosed at the project’s close-out meeting in Accra last Thursday.
In order for the project to succeed, HFFG created strategic partnerships with community and national organisations to be able to mobilise and reach out to target groups, with collaborations with the district assemblies, the Ghana AIDS Commission and Young Health Advocates Ghana, among others.
The Programmes Director of Hope for Future Generations, Nancy Ansah, said although the project would end this month, the project facilitators would continue to engage with the beneficiaries in order to sustain the initiative.
“There will also be quarterly review meetings to ensure continuous engagement with beneficiaries. Additionally, a pro-bono psychologist is providing continuous psychological support to the young ones, especially those who periodically have suicidal tendencies for support,” she said.
The Director of Technical Services of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Fred Nana Poku, commended Hope for Future Generations for a successful completion of the project.
“I am happy that this project has seen the light of day, and the findings are interesting. Although it has ended, I pray that the advocacy and education continue,” he said.
He expressed the hope that the gaps in the system would be filled.
“Young people, especially those who are carriers of HIV, face a lot of challenges, especially psychosocial factors. As a result, affected persons suffer low self-esteem and stigma. We need to fill these gaps,” he noted.