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two strategies of the WABA project which aroused empathy between adults and young people – TOGOTOPNEWS- Reliable and constructive information in just one click

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two strategies of the WABA project which aroused empathy between adults and young people – TOGOTOPNEWS- Reliable and constructive information in just one click

Projects AmplifyPF and WABA (West Africa Breakthrough ACTION) ended in the 4 countries of intervention (Niger, Burkina-Faso, Togo and Ivory Coast) with a closing workshop organized on December 5 and 6, 2023 in Lomé. On the WABA program, two strategies have been developed to break down barriers and facilitate communication between adults and young people: Thank You My Hero (MMH) and the Empathways cards.

These two strategies were innovations, according to those responsible for the WABA project.

MMH, impactful mini videos

Merci Mon Héros, according to Denise Assanvo, FP technical advisor for the WABA project in Ivory Coast, is a multimedia campaign strategy developed to facilitate open and frank communication on reproductive health issues. “It was to create something that will facilitate communication between adolescents and adults, and break taboos. How to help both achieve this. This is what the WABA project achieved through the Thank You My Hero campaign,” she explained during a session during the project’s closing activities.

The campaign is taking place, in fact, on social networks such as Instagram, X (former Twitter), WhatsApp and Facebook. “We also use the mass media. The campaign is based on testimonial videos collected from people, young people and adults who really feel the need for dialogue. A fairly positive testimony that encourages behavior change. “Any person who has helped a young person or anyone who has enabled a young person to have access to health services, we magnify them; hence the name Merci Mon Héros,” detailed, for his part, Arthur Dabone, Merci Mon Héros consultant in Burkina-Faso.

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For Fidèle Adamado, Young Champion on the AmplifyPF project who experimented with MMH videos, “they are like an icebreaker because these mini videos tell stories lived by young people and their allies and allow young people to break negative barriers and to open the conversation about RH/FP.” The MMH strategy, she continues, “captures the attention of the targets and promotes good exposure of the fact that the allies feel honored through the designations hero and heroine at the start of the discussions before getting to the heart of the matter”

Although this campaign had an impact on communities, it lacked a tangible element to accomplish its mission. And these were the grievances of the community. Hence the adaptation with Empathways cards.

Empathways or a helping hand for the MMH campaign

This tool was appreciated because it allowed us to see a dialogue between a father and his child, a mother and her child, in a different way. This is a four-part card game that is designed to support young people and their allies on SRPF issues in a dynamic and stimulating journey from awareness to action through empathy that is the main objective of the tool. “This project is innovative because in the process of playing, adults and young people manage to break taboos and lead a frank conversation about reproductive health and family planning. Empathways encourages interaction between adults and young people to lead them to decision-making, a kind of commitment for adults to support young people,” commented Fidèle Adamado.

West Africa Breakthrough Action (WABA) is a project implemented by the Johns Hopkins CCP whose goal is to increase the use of Reproductive Health (RH) and Family Planning (FP) services.

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Atha ASSAN

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