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Latest stories from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of stories from across the Federation

Humanitarian response team, Fiji.
Story

In pictures: Humanitarian photographers share their experiences of storytelling in the field

IPPF’s localized approach to humanitarian emergencies is led by our Member Associations' response teams and whenever possible, we deploy local photographers.

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Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya
story

| 08 July 2019

"I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves"

“The first time I met Chariette [a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare] was at Sunday football, around four years ago. She was invited by the organizer to come and talk to us when the match was over. We were all men but she wasn’t intimidated and she handled the stupid jokes well.  We stayed in touch and then one day I realized I had an STI. It’s a little taboo and I didn’t want to talk about it. I bought some drugs at the local market but they didn’t have any effect. I called Chariette and we discussed what had happened. She told me to come to the CAMNAFAW clinic and I did, where I spoke about my problem and they gave me proper drugs to get rid of it. That day, I decided to become a peer educator myself. There are a lot of guys who are suffering but too scared to speak out. Above all, men are scared of talking about STIs.  I now work in schools and youth groups, especially sports teams. They will insist they don’t have anything wrong but every Sunday since then I have gone round the teams and chatted with them.  I speak about pregnancy as well. It’s the guys who push women to have sex without a condom and also to have an abortion afterwards. I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves. It’s hard to recruit people to become peer educators because we are volunteers. It’s not easy to persuade people to change their ways. The view from a lot of churches is very strict and centers on abstinence. The young men want to be macho.” Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya is a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya
story

| 26 May 2022

"I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves"

“The first time I met Chariette [a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare] was at Sunday football, around four years ago. She was invited by the organizer to come and talk to us when the match was over. We were all men but she wasn’t intimidated and she handled the stupid jokes well.  We stayed in touch and then one day I realized I had an STI. It’s a little taboo and I didn’t want to talk about it. I bought some drugs at the local market but they didn’t have any effect. I called Chariette and we discussed what had happened. She told me to come to the CAMNAFAW clinic and I did, where I spoke about my problem and they gave me proper drugs to get rid of it. That day, I decided to become a peer educator myself. There are a lot of guys who are suffering but too scared to speak out. Above all, men are scared of talking about STIs.  I now work in schools and youth groups, especially sports teams. They will insist they don’t have anything wrong but every Sunday since then I have gone round the teams and chatted with them.  I speak about pregnancy as well. It’s the guys who push women to have sex without a condom and also to have an abortion afterwards. I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves. It’s hard to recruit people to become peer educators because we are volunteers. It’s not easy to persuade people to change their ways. The view from a lot of churches is very strict and centers on abstinence. The young men want to be macho.” Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya is a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Peer educator and English language student Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, at Mimboman clinic in Yaounde, Cameroon
story

| 08 July 2019

"I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life"

“Chariette was my neighbor. We lived next door to each other. She often organized group information sessions in the neighbourhood to talk about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and early pregnancy, and unintended pregnancies as well.  When I started attending her sessions I was in a bit of unstable relationship. My life was chaotic. My boyfriend didn’t like using protection and we told each other that as we loved each other we weren’t taking any risks. Once I caught something and I was itching a lot. My boyfriend told me that I must have caught it in a public toilet. I trusted him and I didn’t realize I could catch something. When I started listening to Chariette it opened my eyes and I realized I was running big risks. As we aren’t married and we are still studying, we shouldn’t have an unintended pregnancy. What would we do? She told me about sexually transmitted infections as well. I tried to talk to my boyfriend about it but he didn’t want to hear about it, especially about using condoms. I asked for a private session with Chariette for him, and she spoke to us both and he finally understood. Today we have a much more stable sex life and we aren’t running those risks anymore. He learned how to use a condom. After attending her sessions, I was able to save a friend with Chariette’s help. This friend tried to perform an abortion herself and she was bleeding everywhere. I remembered that Chariette told me about the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare clinic, so I called her and asked how she could be admitted. She was able to receive post-abortion care but if I hadn’t known Chariette I don’t know what would have happened. I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life. There is HIV around and it’s scary.” Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, is a student and peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Peer educator and English language student Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, at Mimboman clinic in Yaounde, Cameroon
story

| 26 May 2022

"I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life"

“Chariette was my neighbor. We lived next door to each other. She often organized group information sessions in the neighbourhood to talk about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and early pregnancy, and unintended pregnancies as well.  When I started attending her sessions I was in a bit of unstable relationship. My life was chaotic. My boyfriend didn’t like using protection and we told each other that as we loved each other we weren’t taking any risks. Once I caught something and I was itching a lot. My boyfriend told me that I must have caught it in a public toilet. I trusted him and I didn’t realize I could catch something. When I started listening to Chariette it opened my eyes and I realized I was running big risks. As we aren’t married and we are still studying, we shouldn’t have an unintended pregnancy. What would we do? She told me about sexually transmitted infections as well. I tried to talk to my boyfriend about it but he didn’t want to hear about it, especially about using condoms. I asked for a private session with Chariette for him, and she spoke to us both and he finally understood. Today we have a much more stable sex life and we aren’t running those risks anymore. He learned how to use a condom. After attending her sessions, I was able to save a friend with Chariette’s help. This friend tried to perform an abortion herself and she was bleeding everywhere. I remembered that Chariette told me about the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare clinic, so I called her and asked how she could be admitted. She was able to receive post-abortion care but if I hadn’t known Chariette I don’t know what would have happened. I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life. There is HIV around and it’s scary.” Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, is a student and peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Amani is a 24 year old midwife and volunteer peer educator with the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency.
story

| 03 April 2019

"The students don’t normally ask about abortion as it is such a taboo"

Women and girls in Palestine face a number of difficulties and challenges. The ongoing conflict and lack of sitting government as well as high unemployment, has led to poverty and inequality, while an increasingly conservative society and traditionally patriarchal culture has led to increased gender-inequality and lack of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. The current abortion law unfairly pushes women to risk their lives and health to attempt to end their unwanted pregnancies in unsafe ways. In this context, the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency (PFPPA) has been working since 1964, to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare and advocate for women’s rights. Having received two grants from Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) since 2014, they have been working on the lack of access to safe abortion in the country with a focus on increasing their provision of abortion-related services and advocating at community and national level for changes to the abortion law.  My name is Amani and I am 24 years old. I live with my parents in Bethlehem in the West Bank and I work as a midwife in a family hospital in Jerusalem as well as a peer education volunteer with the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency.  Working in schools Part of my role as a volunteer involves going to schools and doing presentations about early-marriage, family planning and gender-based violence. Even though sex outside of marriage is taboo, it does happen. However, it is very hard for unmarried people to access contraception as the culture is so restrictive, especially here in Hebron. When they need contraception, the man usually goes by himself or they look online.  When we go to schools and talk to students about the subject of sexual health, the students want to know more because at home it is a taboo to talk about such things. We get many questions about issues such as masturbation or what causes pregnancy. They just know that it happens when men and women are together, they do not know how it happens. So people may ask a question like: ‘if I touch somebody, if I stand near someone or kiss them will I get pregnant?’ Abortion is still a taboo The students don’t normally ask about abortion as it is such a taboo. I do know that unsafe abortion happens though, for example my grandmother tried to end her pregnancy once. She was forty-five years old and had six children already. She did not know any way of not getting pregnant or safely ending the pregnancy. She told me that she drank liquids and jumped from the stairs, taking a great risk. She really didn’t want to be pregnant again and tried hard to end it but it did not work.  I am very proud that as a peer educator I have expanded my knowledge on many issues, including how to provide harm reduction information to women so that they can reduce risks of unsafe abortion and not do what my grandmother did in case they don’t want to be pregnant.   Once I met with a woman who already had six children, she was tired of having children but her husband wanted to have more so we visited them at home and through conversation, the husband understood the need, so she was able to access an IUD. Here we work a lot with women, we change them, we speak with them, they change their opinions, they become decision-makers and they leave the clinic as different people.  Read more stories from SAAF in Palestine

Amani is a 24 year old midwife and volunteer peer educator with the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency.
story

| 26 May 2022

"The students don’t normally ask about abortion as it is such a taboo"

Women and girls in Palestine face a number of difficulties and challenges. The ongoing conflict and lack of sitting government as well as high unemployment, has led to poverty and inequality, while an increasingly conservative society and traditionally patriarchal culture has led to increased gender-inequality and lack of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. The current abortion law unfairly pushes women to risk their lives and health to attempt to end their unwanted pregnancies in unsafe ways. In this context, the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency (PFPPA) has been working since 1964, to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare and advocate for women’s rights. Having received two grants from Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) since 2014, they have been working on the lack of access to safe abortion in the country with a focus on increasing their provision of abortion-related services and advocating at community and national level for changes to the abortion law.  My name is Amani and I am 24 years old. I live with my parents in Bethlehem in the West Bank and I work as a midwife in a family hospital in Jerusalem as well as a peer education volunteer with the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency.  Working in schools Part of my role as a volunteer involves going to schools and doing presentations about early-marriage, family planning and gender-based violence. Even though sex outside of marriage is taboo, it does happen. However, it is very hard for unmarried people to access contraception as the culture is so restrictive, especially here in Hebron. When they need contraception, the man usually goes by himself or they look online.  When we go to schools and talk to students about the subject of sexual health, the students want to know more because at home it is a taboo to talk about such things. We get many questions about issues such as masturbation or what causes pregnancy. They just know that it happens when men and women are together, they do not know how it happens. So people may ask a question like: ‘if I touch somebody, if I stand near someone or kiss them will I get pregnant?’ Abortion is still a taboo The students don’t normally ask about abortion as it is such a taboo. I do know that unsafe abortion happens though, for example my grandmother tried to end her pregnancy once. She was forty-five years old and had six children already. She did not know any way of not getting pregnant or safely ending the pregnancy. She told me that she drank liquids and jumped from the stairs, taking a great risk. She really didn’t want to be pregnant again and tried hard to end it but it did not work.  I am very proud that as a peer educator I have expanded my knowledge on many issues, including how to provide harm reduction information to women so that they can reduce risks of unsafe abortion and not do what my grandmother did in case they don’t want to be pregnant.   Once I met with a woman who already had six children, she was tired of having children but her husband wanted to have more so we visited them at home and through conversation, the husband understood the need, so she was able to access an IUD. Here we work a lot with women, we change them, we speak with them, they change their opinions, they become decision-makers and they leave the clinic as different people.  Read more stories from SAAF in Palestine

Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya
story

| 08 July 2019

"I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves"

“The first time I met Chariette [a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare] was at Sunday football, around four years ago. She was invited by the organizer to come and talk to us when the match was over. We were all men but she wasn’t intimidated and she handled the stupid jokes well.  We stayed in touch and then one day I realized I had an STI. It’s a little taboo and I didn’t want to talk about it. I bought some drugs at the local market but they didn’t have any effect. I called Chariette and we discussed what had happened. She told me to come to the CAMNAFAW clinic and I did, where I spoke about my problem and they gave me proper drugs to get rid of it. That day, I decided to become a peer educator myself. There are a lot of guys who are suffering but too scared to speak out. Above all, men are scared of talking about STIs.  I now work in schools and youth groups, especially sports teams. They will insist they don’t have anything wrong but every Sunday since then I have gone round the teams and chatted with them.  I speak about pregnancy as well. It’s the guys who push women to have sex without a condom and also to have an abortion afterwards. I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves. It’s hard to recruit people to become peer educators because we are volunteers. It’s not easy to persuade people to change their ways. The view from a lot of churches is very strict and centers on abstinence. The young men want to be macho.” Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya is a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya
story

| 26 May 2022

"I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves"

“The first time I met Chariette [a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare] was at Sunday football, around four years ago. She was invited by the organizer to come and talk to us when the match was over. We were all men but she wasn’t intimidated and she handled the stupid jokes well.  We stayed in touch and then one day I realized I had an STI. It’s a little taboo and I didn’t want to talk about it. I bought some drugs at the local market but they didn’t have any effect. I called Chariette and we discussed what had happened. She told me to come to the CAMNAFAW clinic and I did, where I spoke about my problem and they gave me proper drugs to get rid of it. That day, I decided to become a peer educator myself. There are a lot of guys who are suffering but too scared to speak out. Above all, men are scared of talking about STIs.  I now work in schools and youth groups, especially sports teams. They will insist they don’t have anything wrong but every Sunday since then I have gone round the teams and chatted with them.  I speak about pregnancy as well. It’s the guys who push women to have sex without a condom and also to have an abortion afterwards. I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves. It’s hard to recruit people to become peer educators because we are volunteers. It’s not easy to persuade people to change their ways. The view from a lot of churches is very strict and centers on abstinence. The young men want to be macho.” Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya is a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Peer educator and English language student Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, at Mimboman clinic in Yaounde, Cameroon
story

| 08 July 2019

"I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life"

“Chariette was my neighbor. We lived next door to each other. She often organized group information sessions in the neighbourhood to talk about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and early pregnancy, and unintended pregnancies as well.  When I started attending her sessions I was in a bit of unstable relationship. My life was chaotic. My boyfriend didn’t like using protection and we told each other that as we loved each other we weren’t taking any risks. Once I caught something and I was itching a lot. My boyfriend told me that I must have caught it in a public toilet. I trusted him and I didn’t realize I could catch something. When I started listening to Chariette it opened my eyes and I realized I was running big risks. As we aren’t married and we are still studying, we shouldn’t have an unintended pregnancy. What would we do? She told me about sexually transmitted infections as well. I tried to talk to my boyfriend about it but he didn’t want to hear about it, especially about using condoms. I asked for a private session with Chariette for him, and she spoke to us both and he finally understood. Today we have a much more stable sex life and we aren’t running those risks anymore. He learned how to use a condom. After attending her sessions, I was able to save a friend with Chariette’s help. This friend tried to perform an abortion herself and she was bleeding everywhere. I remembered that Chariette told me about the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare clinic, so I called her and asked how she could be admitted. She was able to receive post-abortion care but if I hadn’t known Chariette I don’t know what would have happened. I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life. There is HIV around and it’s scary.” Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, is a student and peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Peer educator and English language student Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, at Mimboman clinic in Yaounde, Cameroon
story

| 26 May 2022

"I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life"

“Chariette was my neighbor. We lived next door to each other. She often organized group information sessions in the neighbourhood to talk about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and early pregnancy, and unintended pregnancies as well.  When I started attending her sessions I was in a bit of unstable relationship. My life was chaotic. My boyfriend didn’t like using protection and we told each other that as we loved each other we weren’t taking any risks. Once I caught something and I was itching a lot. My boyfriend told me that I must have caught it in a public toilet. I trusted him and I didn’t realize I could catch something. When I started listening to Chariette it opened my eyes and I realized I was running big risks. As we aren’t married and we are still studying, we shouldn’t have an unintended pregnancy. What would we do? She told me about sexually transmitted infections as well. I tried to talk to my boyfriend about it but he didn’t want to hear about it, especially about using condoms. I asked for a private session with Chariette for him, and she spoke to us both and he finally understood. Today we have a much more stable sex life and we aren’t running those risks anymore. He learned how to use a condom. After attending her sessions, I was able to save a friend with Chariette’s help. This friend tried to perform an abortion herself and she was bleeding everywhere. I remembered that Chariette told me about the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare clinic, so I called her and asked how she could be admitted. She was able to receive post-abortion care but if I hadn’t known Chariette I don’t know what would have happened. I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life. There is HIV around and it’s scary.” Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, is a student and peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Amani is a 24 year old midwife and volunteer peer educator with the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency.
story

| 03 April 2019

"The students don’t normally ask about abortion as it is such a taboo"

Women and girls in Palestine face a number of difficulties and challenges. The ongoing conflict and lack of sitting government as well as high unemployment, has led to poverty and inequality, while an increasingly conservative society and traditionally patriarchal culture has led to increased gender-inequality and lack of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. The current abortion law unfairly pushes women to risk their lives and health to attempt to end their unwanted pregnancies in unsafe ways. In this context, the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency (PFPPA) has been working since 1964, to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare and advocate for women’s rights. Having received two grants from Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) since 2014, they have been working on the lack of access to safe abortion in the country with a focus on increasing their provision of abortion-related services and advocating at community and national level for changes to the abortion law.  My name is Amani and I am 24 years old. I live with my parents in Bethlehem in the West Bank and I work as a midwife in a family hospital in Jerusalem as well as a peer education volunteer with the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency.  Working in schools Part of my role as a volunteer involves going to schools and doing presentations about early-marriage, family planning and gender-based violence. Even though sex outside of marriage is taboo, it does happen. However, it is very hard for unmarried people to access contraception as the culture is so restrictive, especially here in Hebron. When they need contraception, the man usually goes by himself or they look online.  When we go to schools and talk to students about the subject of sexual health, the students want to know more because at home it is a taboo to talk about such things. We get many questions about issues such as masturbation or what causes pregnancy. They just know that it happens when men and women are together, they do not know how it happens. So people may ask a question like: ‘if I touch somebody, if I stand near someone or kiss them will I get pregnant?’ Abortion is still a taboo The students don’t normally ask about abortion as it is such a taboo. I do know that unsafe abortion happens though, for example my grandmother tried to end her pregnancy once. She was forty-five years old and had six children already. She did not know any way of not getting pregnant or safely ending the pregnancy. She told me that she drank liquids and jumped from the stairs, taking a great risk. She really didn’t want to be pregnant again and tried hard to end it but it did not work.  I am very proud that as a peer educator I have expanded my knowledge on many issues, including how to provide harm reduction information to women so that they can reduce risks of unsafe abortion and not do what my grandmother did in case they don’t want to be pregnant.   Once I met with a woman who already had six children, she was tired of having children but her husband wanted to have more so we visited them at home and through conversation, the husband understood the need, so she was able to access an IUD. Here we work a lot with women, we change them, we speak with them, they change their opinions, they become decision-makers and they leave the clinic as different people.  Read more stories from SAAF in Palestine

Amani is a 24 year old midwife and volunteer peer educator with the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency.
story

| 26 May 2022

"The students don’t normally ask about abortion as it is such a taboo"

Women and girls in Palestine face a number of difficulties and challenges. The ongoing conflict and lack of sitting government as well as high unemployment, has led to poverty and inequality, while an increasingly conservative society and traditionally patriarchal culture has led to increased gender-inequality and lack of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. The current abortion law unfairly pushes women to risk their lives and health to attempt to end their unwanted pregnancies in unsafe ways. In this context, the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency (PFPPA) has been working since 1964, to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare and advocate for women’s rights. Having received two grants from Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) since 2014, they have been working on the lack of access to safe abortion in the country with a focus on increasing their provision of abortion-related services and advocating at community and national level for changes to the abortion law.  My name is Amani and I am 24 years old. I live with my parents in Bethlehem in the West Bank and I work as a midwife in a family hospital in Jerusalem as well as a peer education volunteer with the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Agency.  Working in schools Part of my role as a volunteer involves going to schools and doing presentations about early-marriage, family planning and gender-based violence. Even though sex outside of marriage is taboo, it does happen. However, it is very hard for unmarried people to access contraception as the culture is so restrictive, especially here in Hebron. When they need contraception, the man usually goes by himself or they look online.  When we go to schools and talk to students about the subject of sexual health, the students want to know more because at home it is a taboo to talk about such things. We get many questions about issues such as masturbation or what causes pregnancy. They just know that it happens when men and women are together, they do not know how it happens. So people may ask a question like: ‘if I touch somebody, if I stand near someone or kiss them will I get pregnant?’ Abortion is still a taboo The students don’t normally ask about abortion as it is such a taboo. I do know that unsafe abortion happens though, for example my grandmother tried to end her pregnancy once. She was forty-five years old and had six children already. She did not know any way of not getting pregnant or safely ending the pregnancy. She told me that she drank liquids and jumped from the stairs, taking a great risk. She really didn’t want to be pregnant again and tried hard to end it but it did not work.  I am very proud that as a peer educator I have expanded my knowledge on many issues, including how to provide harm reduction information to women so that they can reduce risks of unsafe abortion and not do what my grandmother did in case they don’t want to be pregnant.   Once I met with a woman who already had six children, she was tired of having children but her husband wanted to have more so we visited them at home and through conversation, the husband understood the need, so she was able to access an IUD. Here we work a lot with women, we change them, we speak with them, they change their opinions, they become decision-makers and they leave the clinic as different people.  Read more stories from SAAF in Palestine