Adolescent Safe Spaces, Health, and Skills for Adulthood in Urban Ghana
This safe spaces program provides 12–15-year-old urban adolescent females in Ghana with social, economic, and health assets.
A program participant in her community in Tema.
Photo: © Richard Lord
Girls participating in the program attend girls' groups, where they develop social networks and discuss challenges. Photo: © Richard Lord
Mr. Degraft Assan, the Tema metropolitan social welfare officer, spoke at the durbar (community awareness session) that was held in March 2009 to engage the community in this pilot program.
Adolescent girls in urban Ghana face many of the same challenges as adolescent girls in other developing countries. A move to an urban area may disrupt their social networks, and economic demands and cultural forces may curtail their schooling. This school dropout leaves urban female adolescents with neither marketable skills nor the opportunity to generate income, resulting in low self-esteem and a missed opportunity to realize their full potential. While these girls will likely soon face the demands of needing to earn money and being responsible for family and for themselves, they often lack the appropriate social and health assets to help them achieve these tasks. In the Poverty, Gender, and Youth program, a number of adolescent girls’ programs have sought to address these challenges. The Population Council is piloting this intervention drawing upon this portfolio of achievements and adapting the critical program elements to the urban Ghana context.
This pilot program is designed to help 12–15-year-old urban adolescent females by creating safe spaces where girls can develop social networks and discuss their challenges in girls’ groups led by adult mentors. The program promotes financial education, life skills and leadership, social capital, general health knowledge, sexual and reproductive health, and expectations and attitudes for a positive future. This asset-building program takes place in a densely populated urban settlement called U-Compound in the Tema municipality of the greater Accra region, where the Population Council has an established relationship through the urban pilot of the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) initiative.
Location: Ghana (Tema)
Poverty, Gender, and Youth
Duration: 1/2009 - 3/2011
UK Department for International Development