Ballah - KidsRights
We must all work together to ensure that girls stay in school during their menstrual period.
Name

Ballah

Country of origin
Liberia
Current country
Liberia
Age
22
Theme:
Level: Action Developer

Ballah is an Action Developer!

Ballah was nine when he started to do volunteer work. He joined several groups that fight for children’s rights, both nationally and internationally. Through this he became chairman of Right Holders Network (RHN) in Liberia. RHN is a youth organization that leads the Rights Holders Movement ; a movement of almost a thousand young people who fight for children’s rights in Liberia.

Right Holders Network is a project partner of KidsRights. Read more about that here! 

Ballah realised that it is not easy for women and girls in Africa when they have their menstrual period. There is a strong negativity towards the menstrual period and therefore as little as possible is spoken about it. As a consequence many young girls do not know how to take care of themselves during their menstrual period. And yet taking into consideration that every girl, at some point in her life, will have to go through it. The lack of clean water, sanitary towels, tampons and clean toilets also pose a problem.

Ballah wants to bring a change to this. As a man, he thinks it is important to commit to this issue. Read here for more information about Ballah’s project: Pad4Progress (P4P)!

Highlights

Child abuse
Karupuswamy’s parent meetings
What is the problem?  Karupuswamy sees too much emotional and/or physical abuse of children in his community. This are often parents hitting their children, to punish them when for example they have misbehaved. This form of abuse is seen as normal, as a result, no action is being taken against it. Children often don’t understand where the abuse is coming from, which can lead to confusion, insecurity, and stress. It has big consequences on the personal development of the children. What is Karupuswamy’s solution? Karupuswamy wants to educate parents about positive, and child friendly ways of punishing children when they have misbehaved. He also wants to open the discussion about the negative impact of the abuse that is currently used as a punishment. Parents often don’t know any better, their own parents raised them the same way. That is why it is important to show them that it is also possible to raise their children differently. Karupuswamy will organize weekly meetings with parents and their children, to look at the behavior of children and their needs. The other way around, he also wants to look at the behavior of parents and their expectations. In this way parents and children will learn to understand each other, so they can better adapt to each other. Next to that, he wants to organize a lecture for parents, in which they will learn more about positive and child friendly parenting. He wants to be supported with this by professionals, to make sure they can pass on enough knowledge together. What is the goal?  Karupuswamy’s goal will be achieved when parents will understand the negative consequences of violence against children, stop using it, and start raising their children in a more positive way. How does Karupuswamy work?  Karupuswamy is the project leader. He is starting his project by developing teaching material with his friends, like stickers and posters. He is curious about what the responses of the parents will be, as this has been a habit for years. Who does Karupuswamy need?   Young people that have the same opinion about violence against children as he does. Help of the local children’s rights organizations. Professionals that voluntarily want to help with passing on their knowledge. What does he need? A printer to print the teaching material.
Health
A Drug-free Child Environment
What is the problem? Far too many children in Ahmed’s surroundings get addicted to drugs at an early age, thereby reducing their chances of a good future. It has a huge impact on the lives of these children as they do not quite realize the consequences of their drug use. According to Ahmed, the Liberian government should play a larger part in the prevention of drug use among children. What is Ahmed’s solution? Ahmed wants to inform his community about the use of drugs with the March For The Mind campaign. Young people will gather on the streets to create attention for this subject and draw up a petition to get the government to take action. Besides that, workshops will be given to 75 to 150 children about the effects of drugs. What is the goal? Ahmed hopes that not only will the government take action, but also that children will receive more information about the effect of drugs through the workshops. His ultimate goal is for a safe environment where children get the chance to develop and face a good future, without drugs.  
Health
Sumaiya's SRHR youth clubs
What is the problem? Sumaiya lives in a community in which she experiences the existence of a great health problem. Most people do not have any knowledge about Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), and this is an even bigger problem for children. Children between the ages of 10 and 19, as well as their parents, are not at all aware of SRHR. The consequences of this lack of awareness is that people have poor personal health care, are particularly exposed to sexual diseases, do not take prenatal care and are not aware of postnatal care, as well as take poor care of newborns. Also, family planning counselling as such is not provided for correctly. Parents have trouble taking care of their adolescent children regarding this topic, as well as in general. What is Sumaiya’s solution? Sumaiya’s solution is to disseminate information on SRHR through a number of activities. She wants to activate youth (15-19 year) to join her in her youth club and become peer educators. They will work together in making people aware about SRHR. Sumaiya plans on doing this though two workshops with two different target groups: youth and parents. Finally she will organize and facilitate a Theatre of Development, which will reach a broader audience. The main themes in this Theatre will be puberty & changes, parental care and sexual diseases. What is her goal? Sumaiya’s goal will be met when adolescents, including the most vulnerable ones, will be able to make informed decisions and have access to information and services for Sexual and Reproductive Health. How does Sumaiya work? Sumaiya will lead the project implementation in participation with other youths. At the same time, she will coordinate and cooperate in the workshops, youth group and Theatre for Development. What does Sumaiya need? Sumaiya needs information dissemination materials, like Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) materials and Information Education Communication (IEC) materials, as well as cultural activities materials. For instance, adolescents will use local musical program to disseminate information. Who does Sumaiya need? Sumaiya needs other children to join as participants of the project. Also she needs parents, civil society organization members and health service providers to join in on the project activities and provide information. They will support the cause by giving social support, mobilize resources and give access to different places, such as service centers.
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