Sally Mboumien COMAGEND – My Sister My Friend project
ReproRights that are a determining factor in the life and work that a person enjoys, unfortunately are grossly violated by stakeholders of my community. It a subject still considered a taboo and many women and young girls continue to suffer as they make uniformed decisions, which hinder them from developing their full potential. During this project we will like to see many young people come up as advocates of ReproRights within the community to influence policies nationally and internationally. The project will continue to use peer educators and girls clubs to groom these advocates as well as lay the foundation of our dream social clinic for adolescent girls and young women to have a safe space to discuss ReproRights issues.
As an adolescent girl I had a crude abortion at the backside of a drugstore, which almost cost my life. I suffered serious psychological trauma since I lived in guilt all through my adolescent life. I got married at the age of 19 just to find out if I could have children. Luckily I had children, who coincidentally are girls, which made me start thinking how I could help them go through their sexual life differently from what I experienced. I took the step to start advocating for SRHR especially for women and girls when I realized that girls these days still suffer from ignorance like I did. I made up my mind to fight violation of the SRHR of women and girls which greatly increase vulnerability among them. Ignorance, intimidation and fear of being judged should no longer be a problem so that women and girls can enjoy social inclusion and freedom of self expression. it is in the light that I am believe advocating for policies that can chang the situation will save my girls and reduce the violation rate. I am certain that such a dream can only be realized if I create a social clinic where unbiased information, counselling, orientation and skills acquisition are provided where I can incubate and accelerate young women and adolescent girls so that they take action.
The seed grant from The Pollination Project gave me an opportunity to bring in many people in my journey to making sexual and reproductive health rights education a subject of discussion in every section. It enabled me specifically to create a team of young girls who have been serving as peer educators, mentors, and champions in the communities facilitating the conversation on this subject. Concretely, the TPP grant helped my project to increase its impact very highly because it enabled my organization to engage 40 girls who worked in various corners of the community. This helped us to engage more than 400 girls of ages 12 to 25 years who were sitting under the 40 peer educators who are now volunteering for the Every Girl for Any Girl initiative. This led to another project where the peer educators together with other stakeholders evaluated the national policy on HIV/AIDS in Cameroon and the place of the Adolescent Girl and Young Women. An action plan was developed to engage more members of this taken for granted group in an advocacy for inclusion in this 2019. Girls clubs out of school have now been created in some communities to continue the SRHR conversation while adding an economic empowerment component to it.
Receiving this follow up will help my 2019 goal which is to expand and sustain the My Sister My Friend project activities in communities. Train 20 more peer educators to add to the existing 40 to increase our influence in the community on SRHR matters. Run the two clubs created already and make it sustainable. Support the peer educators in field activities with particular focus on giving ReproRights education to Internal Displaced Persons especially adolescent girls and young women in their new environments.
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