Monday, 13 November 2017

Giving the Navrongo Youth a Voice

Radio Coaching with JHS Students
International service in Ghana partnering with Youth Alive to fight against teenage pregnancy and school drop-out in the Northern part of Ghana.

Our first week in Navrongo, we had a meeting with peer-educators from the various schools which is Vunania, Biu, Gaani and Tampola.

Vunania was the first school to take part in the radio programme "Children's perspectives" and Gaani for the second. Three pupils were selected to take part from each school and the topic that they chose was teenage pregnancy by students of Vunania and school drop-out by the students of Gaani.

The first coaching was done by Jay and Rahama on the topic teenage pregnancy. This coaching was done to prepare the pupil to be able to be confident on the radio show.

In our first meeting with the pupil, we asked them why the topic teenage pregnancy and they said, it was an alarming issue in their community and the district as well, which need to be solve because their friend and sisters are dropping out of school as a result of teenage pregnancy. During the coaching, we also asked them what they think that was the causes of   teenage pregnancy, and some causes that they mention were, irresponsible parental care and control, lack of education, peer pressure and so on.

After which we discuss about the effects of teenage pregnancy, at this point, the pupils sound so affected seeing their colleagues being stigmatised, dying through illegal abortion, dropping out of school and they conclude on this by saying that this problem the youth, need to carry it on their shoulders, and cry to people far and near to support in the matter, however they do thank I C S and Youth   Alive intervention in the three Northern Regions who have come to help tackle these issues, and they do believe that within some few years, with community understanding and commitment this problem  will be the story of the past.

We went on to discuss the roles both the pupil and parents should play to end teenage pregnancy in the district. Some of the roles that were mention by the children are:
  • 1.      Parents should educate their children on their sexual health.
  • 2.      Parents should also provide their children with their basic needs.
  • 3.      Teenage girls should stick to religious laws like Islam and Christianity, which protest against child marriage or having sex outside marriage.

In the fourth weekend which was Saturday, the pupils were taken to Nabina radio to present the issues being discussed on teenage pregnancy.
Students on the radio at Nabina Station.
Photo credit: Chloe Ellis

The pupil did very well speaking on radio for their first time; they were confident and were able to express themselves. They did so by splitting the work among themselves and this made a successful presentation.

After the presentation by the pupil, there was a time that allowed listeners to call to contribute to what the pupil presented. Some of  those who called were able to speak English and some speak the local language[Kasen] which was not well understood but some of the contribution they made was based on the causes and the effect these have on both the individual[victims] and the society at large.
By activating the phone line we ended up engaging our audience in the conversation. Apart from what the pupil mention in their presentation, our audience also looked at it in their own point of view and also came out with their opinions as to what causes this issues and how to prevent them or decline the rate.

It was refreshing to see the conversation provoked by the children among those that called in. The children also received great praise from some, who admired their confidence to approach such a stigmatised topic among the youth. We were also very proud of the children, as their coaches and look forward to more thought provoking discussions with more students over the next few weeks.

Blog Author: Tahidu Rahama 

Rahama and Jay coaching at Vunania JHS.
Photo credit: Katey Forster

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