CYIB- Curious Minds, a youth-led advocacy non-governmental organization has trained youth in Accra and Cape Coast on the effective use of social media for advocacy. The training happened on Wednesday and Thursday for members of the Central Regional chapter club and Friday and Saturday for members of the Accra GIJ chapter club. With funding from the RFSU, the two-day training sought to educate participants in both Cape Coast and Accra on how to use social media for advocacy and also teach members social media campaign development and implementation process to champion diverse causes including reproductive health and also engage various stakeholders for change.
The Lead trainer who is also the Advocacy and Communication Officer at Curious Minds- Cecil Ato Kwamena Dadzie opined that the training was geared to building the capacity of the members of curious minds and also equipping them with the right skills to contribute to meaningful discussions online.
“Bodily Autonomy refers to the right to govern and make decisions over our bodies, regardless of race, age, religious affiliation or gender. This means making decisions about one’s body without external influences. This training organized by Curious Minds with support from RFSU – the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education sought to teach participants how to use their most powerful advocacy tool—their voices—along with digital platforms—to affirm and empower others who are more likely to experience violence and other violations of bodily autonomy.” he stated
Cecil Dadzie also appealed to the relevant stakeholders to add their voices and actions in the bid to reduce the increasing number of violations of bodily autonomy and asked that young people be given access to sexual and reproductive health information.
“Different Charters and Conventions recognize the developing capacities of young people and admonish all stakeholders to provide information and guidance to enable young people to participate meaningfully in decisions about their bodies and futures. I will use this opportunity to call on all stakeholders to ensure a reduction in violations of bodily autonomy. Many young people are still denied their right to accessible sexual and reproductive health information and services. The situation must change if we want to achieve the sustainable development goals, particularly Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 5” he appealed
One of the members of Curious Minds Ghana and a participant for the social media training in Cape Coast said through the two-day training he realized how relevant social media is and how it can be used as a means to advocate for a better society
“I have come to the realization that social media is perhaps the greatest power we carry as young people aside our natural abilities and that employing it judiciously for positive impact and engagement means a better society. I also understand that we all have the power to accept or reject any unwanted bodily advances” – Yoel (Cape Coast)
On the back of the question of whether their expectations were met, another beneficiary of the social media training program in the Accra GIJ chapter club Fauzeeya Jamal-Deen argued that she gained insightful knowledge in the training and hence she wishes more of these will be replicated across various places in the country to enlighten people about the use of social media and how to defend their bodily autonomy rights “The training session was insightful and educative. I have understood the steps in social media campaigning and how useful and important hashtags are. I have also learnt how audience personas are important in planning content for advocacy using social media on reproductive health education and issues regarding bodily autonomy. It is my wish that this training will be replicated across the country to teach more and more people about the use of social media for advocacy and bodily autonomy,” she said.