In Liberia, of women aged between 20-24, 5.9% of them gave birth before their 15th birthday, and 37% gave birth before their 18th birthday according to the UNFPA (2013). Early pregnancy is a barrier for these women as they are hindered from partaking in decision-making. It also reduces their self-esteem and increases the risk of spreading sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
BRAC in Liberia began focusing on empowering adolescents in 2014. We empower adolescents to participate meaningfully in decisions that will affect their lives positively and become active agents of social change, thus creating a supportive environment for the development of adolescent girls at the household and the community level.
We establish clubhouses situated near the homes of target communities, as safe spaces where adolescents socialise and discuss issues of concern, as well as challenges that are common to them. The mentors of each club receive training on teaching through monthly refresher programmes. Teenage pregnancy, limited access to reproductive services and information, malnutrition, sexual and gender-based violence are some of the biggest health issues that adolescents face. Lack of proper services and little knowledge about prevention of unwanted pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases put them at high risk.