Lemlem, 25, is a TIKO Pro working on the JSE-SRH project. TIKO Pros are community facilitators who help young women in Bahirdar City understand the need for SRH services and connect them with service providers. Lemlem enjoys volunteering and sees it as one of the reasons she gets up early and stays motivated all day.
I care about the lives of young women, particularly those who are disadvantaged in life. I am always sad to see their lives ruined because they have no or little knowledge of sexual reproductive health and the resources that are available. I am glad I can assist them.Lemlem
Lemlem explains some of the factors that contribute to low utilization and limited access to SRH services. Youth fear to be seen by parents or others they know if they access services. Others have the social belief that having a child is a blessing from God and birth control is considered a sin. And Lemlem also comes across men who refuse to take responsibility, because they fear that using contraceptives affects their fertility and their ability to have kids in the future.
Access to SRH Services and the JSE-SRH Project
Through the funding of EKN (the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ethiopia) and in collaboration with Triggerise, Cordaid implemented a Job Skill and Education-Sexual and Reproductive Health (JSE-SRH) project in Bahir Dar City. The project has two components, which are JSE and SRH.
The SRH component aims to enhance access to SRH services and uses a digital platform powered by mobile apps called TIKO and a short SMS code, 6428, to connect young people to SRH services. The project addresses 3,135 young women between the ages of 15 and 29, who live in six sub-cities of the Bahir Dar City administration. 5% of these beneficiaries are people with disabilities and internally displaced young girls.
“I strongly believe that young women and their partners should properly plan appropriate health care. If young women and men understand the benefits of access to services, we can reduce problems such as sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Men also play an important role in sending their wives to the city’s free services.” – Lemlem