She seemed to have come to the end of the road and the only available option was to end it all. Then suddenly someone listens to her story and offers her hope that things can get better. Presently she has regained confidence, back to school and focused on her dream to become a nurse.
The first of a family of seven siblings, Erica had to relocate to another town to attend Junior High School (JHS) because there were no facilities for education at that level in her community. Her parents were compelled to rent a hostel to enable her lodge and attend school. A few weeks into her stay at the hostel, she was lured into a relationship by an SHS Student. The relationship led to three pregnancies; two of them were aborted whilst she experienced a still birth on the third occasion during the seventh month of the pregnancy. Due to the trauma and stigma associated with the pregnancy, she stopped school and begun to feel desperate. She bluntly confesses:
“There were times I felt like committing suicide, I cried and felt helpless and did not know which way to turn”
Erica’s mother lamented about her daughter’s situation as the International Needs Ghana (INGH) team introduced the concept of the Circle of support in a community engagement on a project that seeks to promote a Safe and Protective Environment for Adolescent Development (SPREAD).
The INGH team followed up on her case and has managed to get her back to school. INGH and the Department of Social Welfare are working with her parents to possibly move her to another school that has a more protective environment.
The Safe and Protective Environment for Adolescent Development (SPREAD) Project is a partnership between International Needs Ghana (INGH) and UNICEF to contribute to the reduction of adolescent pregnancies, abuse and exploitation at the community level. It is being implemented in 55 communities across 11 eleven Districts and 3 regions in Ghana.