I have for the past 7 years been involved into campaign and awareness raising programs especially within learning institutions and communities of young Liberians for appropriate family planning programs, which are so far creating positive impacts on the targeted beneficiaries and their communities especially within rural areas of post-war Liberia.
As a result, I was in 2014 appointed as the Country Coordinator for IYAFP with the responsibilities of helping Liberians, especially our young colleagues with appropriate programs on preventive measures towards their family planning.
This position has also increased my knowledge in the above subject based on the additional training received from IYAFP as well as the exchange of ideas with other colleagues through their global network.
As a social activist with special interest in young people’s development, my passion for family planning started as a result of the increasing rates of teenage pregnancies and death of teenage mothers in post-war Liberia.
Liberia has over 55% youthful population who are sexually active, I was particularly touched by the lack of comprehensive family planning programs to meet their needs, especially those teenagers who are in the commercial sex industries exposing them to various forms of STIs.
Considering the absence of family planning programs as a long standing problem in post-war Liberia, one challenge has been the acceptance of some of the family planning programs within rural communities across the country which are been viewed by some traditional and religious groups as something negative against their believes and practices.
These negative perceptions are now changing based on campaigns and awareness raising programs where these groups are been trained as peer educators.
Many of the communities across the country lack comprehensive family planning (FP) programs to meet the needs of its 4 million total populations especially the 55% youthful population are sexually active. There’re more female teenagers into the commercial sex work without FP and contraception for which majority of them exposed to different forms of STDs. Hospitals and clinics in the country lack trained personnel and FP programs. Comprehensive FP awareness will help tackle these challenges.
My hope for the next five years is the establishment of family planning community clubs within learning institutions and communities. This will include the establishment of information centers with various formats of educational materials to meet the needs of different groups.
It is also my hope of having regular mobile clinics especially within rural communities on treatment and preventive measures which is lacking within communities in most of the 15 counties of post-war Liberia.