Engage, Inspire & Empower on International Youth Day 2020!
Photo Courtesy of AHF

Engage, Inspire & Empower on International Youth Day 2020!

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By Fiona Ip (Courtesy of AHF)

In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that youth around the world have the tools they need to succeed has become more important than ever. One AHF youth program – Girls Act – is doing just that!

As a girl-led program, Girls Act inspires self-confidence and leadership skills by empowering young women and girls to stay in school and stay healthy by preventing HIV, STIs, and unplanned pregnancies and stay on treatment if they are HIV positive.

“The bond we have formed and the confidence we now have in each other [through Girls Act] are clear examples of the need to support ourselves,’’ said Jenny Wanker, peer leader in the newly established Girls Act chapter in Benue, Nigeria. “I’ve found myself speaking to young ladies my age about their relationships, as they relate to pressures for sex from male counterparts and the importance of safe sex if they can’t abstain. I’m able to draw on real examples from what unprotected sex can lead to aside from the burden of unplanned pregnancies which many of us can relate to.”

Jenny Wanker, peer leader in the newly established Girls Act chapter in Benue, Nigeria
Jenny Wanker, peer leader in the newly established Girls Act chapter in Benue, Nigeria | Photo Courtesy of AHF

When asked what she would like to pass on to people who are older than her, Jenny added, “I wish that I was consulted about my views on issues that affect my life—and that my desires and views be respected.”

AHF invites you to learn more about the inspirational stories from around the globe by watching our documentary titled “Girls Act!” which profiles five brave young women who thrive despite HIV with the help of the Girls Act program. Watch the video at www.AHFFilms.org/#Girls-Act.

Srey Ka, a peer leader in AHF Cambodia's Girls Act chapter
Srey Ka, a peer leader in AHF Cambodia's Girls Act chapter | Photo Courtesy of AHF

“If there was something I could tell young people today, it would be a key message of encouragement – Do what you love. Believe in yourself. There is nothing you cannot do!” said Srey Ka, a peer leader in AHF Cambodia’s Girls Act chapter.