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Marie Stopes International: Youth Like Me - Youth Stories in Papua New Guinea and Ghana Support Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health

Case Studies

Marie Stopes International: Youth Like Me - Youth Stories in Papua New Guinea and Ghana Support Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health

Emily Paulos

While recognition is growing within the international public health community about the importance of tailoring sexual health services to the specific needs of young people, youth in Papua New Guinea and Ghana struggle to access the health education information and specific reproductive health services they desperately need. Marie Stopes International (MSI) has for many years been developing innovative ways to address these gaps, in collaboration with its in-country partners around the world.

In 2014, Silence Speaks and MSI developed an innovative storytelling approach to foregrounding the narratives of youth in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Ghana in the organization’s efforts to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health in these two countries. We led a fully participatory four-day workshop in PNG, where youth used our mobile laptop lab to write and edit their stories. In Ghana, we led a modified process that supported youth in story sharing, audio recording, and location photography; they sat with our facilitators and guided the editing process. Our colleagues with MSI-PNG and MSI-Ghana facilitated additional activities to build peer education and leadership skills among the participating youth.

The resulting collections of stories are available online (view Ghana stories and Papua New Guinea stories) and on compilation DVDs being used by MSI as part of its efforts to train health providers on the delivery of youth-friendly clinic services and to offer sexual health education in secondary school and other community-based settings. We developed a comprehensive Story Discussion Guide to accompany the Ghana stories; for information about accessing this publication, please contact us.

Read about the Marie Stopes Ghana project on our StoryCenter blog.