We are thrilled to report the successful graduation ceremony of 120 adolescent participants of our Choices and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) intervention strategy in Oriuzor community, Ezza North LGA, Ebonyi State in August 2023. The event marked the end of a 16-week safe space session, and it was a triumphant celebration of the determination, resilience, and dedication of these young community members. The Choices and ASRH intervention strategy challenged restrictive gender norms and promoted gender equity in homes through community-based intervention approaches.
While Choices targeted younger adolescents aged 10-14 years, the ASRH intervention strategy engaged older adolescents aged 15-19 years in discussions around adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Our team of 12 trained community-based facilitators worked with 12 trained community volunteers to facilitate 13 curriculum-based sessions for ASRH participants and 11 curriculum-based sessions for Choice’s participants. The graduation ceremony was filled with welcome songs, cultural dances, and testimonials from both participants and parents. The participants were also awarded certificates of completion in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the program.
We celebrate these young community members for stepping up, participating wholeheartedly, and taking ownership of their lives and futures while becoming leaders in their communities. Congratulations to the participants and facilitators for a successful graduation ceremony! Throughout the 16 weeks, the participants were empowered to support and lift each other to achieve their hopes and dreams, challenge harmful gender norms and behaviors, lay the foundation for gender equality, and change negative perceptions that fuel harmful gender norms. The sessions were conducted using evidence-based, adapted curricula that had different modules to align with the objectives of the intervention strategy.