Six years ago, Leonie Heppener visited Kithutuni in Kenya. Inspired by the results of the SALT-CLCP approach there, and by The Constellation coach Onesmus Chengo Mutuku in particular, she developed her own dream: Building a community with and around teenage girls to prevent teenage pregnancy and school drop-out in Ghana.
This led to the successful Go Girl Ghana initiative. In 2018, Go Girl Ghana invited The Constellation team with Onesmus and Carmen to add SALT-CLCP in the way of working of facilitators in Ghana.
Go Girl Ghana then became a source of energy for The Constellation teams and partners in Cameroon, India, Indonesia, and Kenya : the Go Girl initiative was born and embraced by The Constellation members!
Thanks to donations by members of The Constellation, the Triodos Foundation, and the Trust for Local Response, facilitation teams in communities in those countries opened the conversation on sexual health, helped tackle taboos which led to initiatives for improved self confidence in girls, participation of boys and men, and support for teenage moms and their children.
Now, Go Girl Ghana is reaching out to their source: Onesmus, again, this time accompanied by Busolo Quintonne (Aaliyah), a champion from Go Girl Kenya within and around the refugee community in L’Afrikana, Nairobi, will return to Ghana in May. Together with Leonie and champion facilitator Comfort Nukpeta, they will train a new tranche of 30 community facilitators, including girls.
Leonie: “My best hope is that, with the training, we will build teams of committed facilitators who bring a change that lasts.”
Comfort is bringing the participants together and has started to bring the concept of SALT: “The volunteers are so much looking forward to this event. There really are big hopes.”
Onesmus is convinced that the hopes can be achieved “as long as we keep considering the question “What makes us human” and engage also those who are not there. Remember, this big chief who may seem reluctant at first, is also a father, a brother, an uncle with strengths to respond: the pregnant teenager may be in their own house. When we realise we are our own stakeholders, a paradigm shift is at the horizon.”
Onesmus adds: “The focus of the event in May will be on Team formation with authentic presence in communities through regular yet consistent SALT visits to homes and neighborhood communities. We want to establish team behaviour that is characterised by SALT, drawing inspiration from own learning from local experience coupled with those from Global Go Girl”.
More on Go Girl Ghana here: https://www.gogirlghana.org/
More on l’Afrikana: https://lafrikana.or.ke/
To support Go Girl activities in The Constellation teams, you can make your donation: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=XDKV256VT4GR4&source=url
Photos courtesy of Onesmus Mutuku, Go Girl Ghana, Cho Ngafor Foundation, Faith Foundation, IndoCompetence, and L’Afrikana.