The Alliance for Reproductive Health Right (ARHR) has charged its adolescent champions, particularly girls to be agents of change in their respective communities.
This, it said would contribute productively and fruitfully to the lives of the adolescents, have a greater impact on a larger section of the community, and above all win the trust of parents and guardians.
“It is impossible to change others when you have not transformed yourself, live your adult life well because you may indirectly impact others.” It said.
These were said at a training program designed for 20 adolescent champions in 15 communities in the Central Region by the ARHR with sponsorship from the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA).
Its implementing partner is the Progressive Excellence Youth Organization (PEYORG), a Non-Governmental Organization that works solely towards a society free from disease and illiteracy.
Mr. Michael Tagoe, the Youth Programs Officer of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) who facilitated the workshop noted that to be agents of change, the adolescent champions must learn to understand the behavioral differences, logical thinking and other disorders of the adolescents in the groups.
On building relationships, Mr. Tagoe who is also a Counsellor stated that healthy relationships were life-changing and extremely enjoyable yet individuals must consider the motives and timing of each other to build mutual healthy relationships to the benefits of the society.
He advised all to work on their character, learn, build, prepare themselves adequately, set realistic expectations and goals, pick themselves up when things go wrong, and trust that their relationships with people would be a success.
“ You may never know too much about everything, find an expert, a neutral person, or a professional and seek good counsel and you would not regret your actions and inactions afterward. “he added.
For a fruitful session with adolescents, the Counsellor urged the champions to plan their sessions, deal with issues raised in their groups, build on participant experience, be a listener, and be enthusiastic.
He admonished the adolescent champions not to dominate their groups, intimidate members, take sides, jump into conclusions, create a lengthy dialogue with a particular participant and not be bias because it may hinder the progress of the group.
Speaking on mental health, Ms. Halimatu Sadia Ishaque, a volunteer at the PPAG identified Bulimia Nervosa, hyperactivity disorders, post-dramatic stress, anxiety, depression, and anxiousness as some of the mental issues adolescent face that could transit with them into adulthood.
She further told champions to be cautious when dealing with each person because everyone was unique in their way of thinking and as such needed special care and attention to help solve the problems of those with mental disorders effectively.