Radio programs inspire students to create discussion groups on sexual and reproductive health
When Bamba Ramatou started listening to a radio program on sexual and reproductive health, she knew she had to share her experience and her new knowledge.
Ramatou is a 25-year-old student who lives in Sector 5 of the town of Banfora, Burkina Faso. She listens to radio programs on sexual and reproductive health in teenagers and youth on Radio Munyu. It’s part of a program broadcast in partnership with Farm Radio International.
With her friend Eric Coulibaly, Ramatou decided to create a radio listening group made up of youth and teenagers in order to listen and converse about the sexual health related programs on Radio Munyu. The programs are broadcast as part of the “Promoting sexual and reproductive health, rights, and nutrition for adolescents in Burkina Faso” project (shortened to Adosanté). The project is run by a consortium of NGOs coordinated by Helen Keller International, and funded by Global Affairs Canada.
“Sexual health is very important. It’s because of that that the themes expanded on by Radio Munyu as part of Adosanté really interested me, and led me to listen and participate in the shows,” explains Ramatou.
“Sexual health is very important and we shouldn’t play around with it. That motivates me to want to help other youth to take care of themselves.”Bamba Ramatou, Banfora, Burkina Faso.
The programs have brought Ramatou new knowledge on sexually transmitted infections, and sexual health.
“It has also enabled me to broach questions of sexuality with my parents more easily in order to get their advice,” she adds.
For that matter, thinking of the usefulness of the programs, Ramatou decided to talk about them with her friend, Eric Coulibaly, another 25-year-old student living in Banfora and encouraged him to listen to the programs.
Eric is grateful to Ramatou for introducing him to the programs, saying that he never listened to the radio beforehand.
In addition to learning about how to take more responsibility fo his sexual health, Eric says “This program gave me a love for radio. I never listened before Ramatou introduced me to the programs. I realized that radio is a reliable source of information, and that what we read on the internet is not always true.”
Because of the benefits of the they got from the programs, the two youth decided that they should encourage others to benefit as well.
After discussions with Hortense Thiéba, the host of the sexual and reproductive health program on radio Munyu, the two started a community listening group composed of youth and adolescents. The group will listen to the programs together, and have a space where they can discuss freely the issues brought up by the programs.
So far, they’ve recruited 17 youth to their group, made up of 13 girls and four boys aged between 16 and 26 years old.
“I gathered some girls from the neighborhood to talk about the program and about sexual and reproductive health in youth. I told them about the benefits of the program, and we discussed these issues. They all understood and joined in,” says Ramatou.
Started on March 27, 2021, the group plans on meeting every Thursday at 7 p.m. to listen to the programs.
“Sexual health is very important and we shouldn’t play around with it. That motivates me to want to help other youth to take care of themselves. We would like, through this group, to accomplish amazing things in terms of the sexual education of youth and adolescents,” says Ramatou.
About the author
Nassa Wend-Puiré Yasmina Sandrine, a communicator by training, is currently a national volunteer community manager with Farm Radio International, in Burkina Faso. She worked as a communication officer in a research institute for almost two years. Among other responsibilities she had to define their communication strategy, develop visual aids, manage digital communications (website and social management and webinar hosting), manage media relations, and organize trainings and conferences. Before this position, she did various internships in journalism and communication. These internships helped her get and develop strong communication skills, but also become familiar with journalistic writing styles and genres.
About the project
The “Promoting sexual and reproductive health, rights, and nutrition for adolescents in Burkina Faso” project (AdoSanté) is a three-year project funded by Global Affairs Canada (AMC) and led by Helen Keller International. It aims at improving the sexual and reproductive health of teenagers in Burkina Faso and it is undertaken as part of national and international strategies in terms of teenager reproductive health, related rights promotion, and gender equality.