Cynthia is a young 23 year-old lady from Kenya. She tells us of her experience working on a youth-centered project at Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK).
“Before I joined the Access, Services and Knowledge (ASK) project, I had never seen a female condom in my whole life. In fact, before then, I couldn’t even pronounce the words 'vagina' or 'penis'. I was so shy and felt so embarrassed about mentioning these body parts by their actual names. I would refer to them as 'things'.
However, after my engagement with the ASK project, including intensive training on issues of adolescent sexual reproductive health by FHOK, I built up my confidence and now I'm able to confidently educate my peers on matters of their sexuality.
Today, I speak to the young people in my church about healthy choices, more so those concerning their relationships and sexual health. I also pick condoms from FHOK for distribution among my friends and other young people. I'm not afraid about holding a condom up and explaining its proper use to my peers.
Through my engagement with the youth activities at Family Health Options Kenya - FHOK, I am a better informed youth and a champion for sexual reproductive health and rights and this makes me feel proud.”
The Access, Services and Knowledge (ASK): ‘What Young People Want, What Young People Need’ was a three year programme that targeted young people in the age group of 10-24 years. The overall objective of the project was to improve the use of SRHR services by young people (10-24 years) through demand creation, provision of youth friendly information and services (including commodities), and ensuring public private partnerships with a greater respect for young people’s sexual rights. It was implemented in the five countries of: Senegal, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana.
Story by FHOK and Maryanne W. Waweru, IPPF Africa Region