Developing a just society based on equity and equal opportunities for all with respect for diversity.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Lasting Positive Change Lies in Passion and Service: Part I

Here at ICS-RAINS (Regional Information and Advisory Network System), we are working very hard to facilitate the education of children and women regarding sexual and reproductive health, teenage pregnancy and the importance of staying in education. Our cohort is currently focusing on why people choose kayayei, its dangers and its prevention. 

Kayayei (single Kayayoo) describes young women who carry heavy goods and wares for a fee. Girls and young women aged between 8 and 45 years, mostly from the rural areas of Ghana namely the Northern, Upper East and West Regions. These women and girls have limited or no education and originate from these poor socio-economic backgrounds. The three sensitizations held in the three communities we work with, namely Nanton-Kurugu, Zokuga and Langa all in the Savelegu District focuses on questions related to kayayei. Questions such as what is kayayei, what makes someone choose kayayei, how can kayayei affect sexual health, what are the dangers of Kayayei and what should be done to prevent them from practicing kayayei. Their feedback to these questions made realize us that, the meaning of kayayei and the dangers related to kayayei is not really known to them. 

Community Sensitisation in Langa
 Photo Credit Harriet Braithwaite
We do our best to educate these communities on what kayayei is and possible dangers these young women face when practicing kayayei. We do this education through the research we conduct in the office as a team. After the questions and answers, we then act out a short drama, on a seventeen year old girl called Amina, who lives with her mother and siblings in the Northern Region of Ghana. She decided to go to Accra to practice kayayei due to lack of money at home. She was sexually abused by countless men on the streets of Accra, she got pregnant and decided to go back home because of the bad weather conditions and the abuse she endures on the streets of Accra. On her arrival back home, Amina visited the Health Facility for a check up, she found out that she was HIV positive, and she regretted ever going to Accra to engage in kayayei. 

Myself playing Amina in the kayayei roleplay
Photo Credit: Harriet Braithwaite
I played the role of Amina, playing that particular role of Amina, on our first sensitisation made me feel very special because the role made me realize what young girls like me face on the streets of Accra. I feel these young women and girls deserve good and quality education or vocational training.  In time i hope this is what government officials can provide for these young girls who travel from their towns to the big cities just to practice kayayei, because they feel that there is nothing to do in those rural areas. I hope that, in one way or the other, this role play will go a long way to educate both the young and old in these various communities on what girls like Amina go through on the streets of Accra.

Fellow Volunteer Salma and I in the kayayei roleplay
Photo Credit: Harriet Braithwaite

By Abigail Darko

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