Page 34

ETHIOPIA: THE STORY OF AYANTU

As part of the ASK and UFBR program, our partner or-

become a good and effective communicator. I now have

ganization TaYA in Ethiopia established ‘The Ethiopian

a deep knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and

Youth Council for Higher Opportunities’ (ECHO). TaYA

rights, meaningful youth participation and youth-adult

and CHOICE together train ECHO members to become

partnerships. As an ECHO member, I have become more

youth leaders and serve as youth advocates, educators and

open to conversations regarding any of these topics.”

spokespeople on sexual and reproductive health issues and policies that affect young people in Ethiopia and internationally. THE PREVIOUS SITUATION: A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE Before Ayantu (21) became an ECHO member, she wasn’t aware of the severity of the SRHR situation in Ethiopia. After joining ECHO, Ayantu realized the situation needed more attention: “I always thought that we, the Ethiopian youth, were quite informed on sexually transmitted infections and the different methods of contraceptives. I also thought that becoming a good leader was a matter of experience.”

“I CAN

THE CURRENT SITUATION: AN ACTOR OF CHANGE

PASS THIS

Now that Ayantu has more knowledge,

INFORMATION

ered to be an actor of change and advo-

ON TO MY

that I have broadened my knowledge on

skills and self-esteem, she feels empowcate for the SRHR of young people: “Now SRHR, I can pass this information on to

PEERS IN A

my peers in a manner that they accept

MANNER THAT

more confident to talk to my elders and

THEY ACCEPT

After I began being involved in ECHO, I

AND ACTUALLY LISTEN TO.”

and actually listen to. I now also feel to participate in formal communications. became more open and energetic about being a change agent.” Ayantu concludes: “In a country where talking about sexuality related issues is a taboo, these kinds of trainings help us,

the youth, to become more open and talk freely. They also THE INTERVENTION:

inform us on where and how to get the services we want.

JOINING ECHO

We, the youth, form the majority in our country and any

After becoming an ECHO member, Ayantu broadened her

issue that concerns us concerns the society as a whole. The

knowledge on volunteering and youth leadership: “I now

discussions that took place during the trainings helped us to

have a better and well-structured knowledge on how to

share our ideas and to see things from different angles.”

34

CHOICE Annual Report 2014  
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