Mary and Eunice aged 15 and 16 are members of a Safe Space International Needs Ghana (INGH) is working with at Baifikrom in the Mfantseman Municipality in the Central Region of Ghana. The two friends who have pledged to live a chaste life said they have become more assertive and confident in their interactions with boys and men since they joined the Safe Space in 2021.
The relations they have built with new friends at the meetings and the confidence they have had through guidance from their facilitators has given them new strength to run towards their dreams. They now understand that with hard work and determination, they could become whatever they set their minds to achieve.
“I want to be a fashion designer, or midwife or both. Now I know I can be all I want to be,” said Eunice.
Mary said she now knows how to emphatically say no to boys and men who try to take advantage of her. She said with the environment that she lived in, and the kind of influences, she would probably had been pregnant if she had not joined the Safe Space.
“I know I would have probably been pregnant by now if I had not joined the Safe Space”.
But at the Safe Space we have been taught how to take care of ourselves in a lot of ways. For instance, we have learnt how to sew comfortable sanitary pads to keep us from asking men and boys for monies for pads. It has been very helpful, and I use it a lot during my periods.
“I want to be a lawyer, or a journalist and I know I can. I am confident, and I am working hard in school” said Mary”.
Eunice said they were also taught at the Safe Space to settle all misunderstandings with their parents amicably. “It has been a great learning experience for me, and the tensions that sometimes come between me and my mother has reduced because of the lessons taught us,” she said.
“Being a member of the Safe Space has been good for us. We are happier and confident. It is like we have been set free and we will not go off this path”.
A story from the Promoting Adolescent Girl’s Safe Space (PASS) project being implemented in the Cape Coast, Mfantseman and Komenda Edina- Eguafo Abrem Municipal Assembly by INGH. PASS is being implemented in collaboration with UNFPA and UNICEF under the Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage.