Beatrice Ghartey is a 14 year old student at the WASS Experimental Junior High School in Adenta, Accra.
HealthKeepers Network (HKN), a non-governmental organization based in Accra, recruited her as a peer educator for the Youth LinkUp Program two years ago. As a peer educator, Ghartey received training in many areas including adolescent reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, prevention of teenage pregnancy, sexual abstinence and youth friendly services.
Ghartey is an active member of the Young Peer Educators Club that HKN established in her school. The club meets every Wednesday and Friday to have informal discussions on adolescent reproductive health issues. Through club activities, the peer educators promote healthy behavior among their peers and other adolescents.
In order to keep busy and remain abstinent, Ghartey engages in various activities such as reading books, exercising, playing games, and helping her mother with household chores. She recalls an incident during which she advised one of her friends not to succumb to sexual advances: “I knew she trusted me and that’s why she came to me for advice, and on my part as her friend and a peer educator I made sure I kept her concerns secret.”
Since becoming a member of the HKN Young Peer Educators Club, she has gathered the courage and confidence to educate other adolescents to fight against early pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. She explains, “At my church, when we go early and there is no teacher, I take the opportunity to discuss what I have learned as a peer educator with them.”
Ghartey is focused on achieving her goals in life and is not ready to trade them for anything.
With additional funding provided by a grant awarded under Advancing Partners & Communities (APC), (HealthKeepers Network) HKN plans to expand their community-based family planning (CBFP) project. The CBFP project aims to reduce the gap between the demand and the supply of HIV prevention and family planning (FP) products. The program provides access to affordable contraception, including condoms and oral contraceptives, as well as other products and services.