Young and Safe

Project Overview

Lead Partner
Node Eight Foundation (formerly Node Africa)
Project Start
Project End

Consortium Partners

Ho Municipal Assembly
Love Aid Foundation
Ghana Education Service

Local context

Across Ghanian cities, young people have inter-related needs around sexual, reproductive and mental health; spaces for play and recreation; and employment opportunities. HCA selected Ho as a priority city because of its chances for economic growth that help young people and the good relationship between local youth and city authorities.

Despite this enabling environment, adolescents in Ho continue to face many challenges. The number of teenage pregnancies and HIV infections is rising, and drug abuse cases among youth are increasing due to a lack of access to alternative activities, spaces and support. Young people are also under-represented in Ho’s decision-making institutions, with only five of the 33 local legislators in the city’s Municipal Assembly being under the age of 35.

About the project

The Young and Safe project aims to help make Ho a youth-friendly city that safeguards the wellbeing, health, and participation of young people (between the ages of 13 and 23) in city governance. It seeks to achieve this through smart local partnerships between youth-led non-profits, universities and government agencies in Ho, who deliver a variety of interventions at different levels.

Key activities include:

  • building young people’s capacity to participate in city governance;
  • addressing issues related to menstrual and reproductive health;
  • fostering creativity, entrepreneurship, and digital skills and innovation.

Young and Safe plans to run a variety of activities ranging from a creative talent festival and hackathon, to seminars on mental, sexual and reproductive health. The project wants to design thinking bootcamps and virtual reality/robotics workshops.

Young and Safe seeks to ensure that young people’s voices are represented in the city’s governance and development plans. The project’s aim is to focus on policies that promote the wellbeing of young people and incorporate them into the Ho municipal annual plans. The project will provide young people in Ho with access to comprehensive information about sexual, mental and reproductive health. This will enable them to make informed choices and lead safe and healthy lives.

Young and Safe will support young people to discover and develop their talents by creating safe spaces where they can have fun, explore and enhance their skills. The project places particular emphasis on equipping young people, including those from marginalised groups, with digital innovation skills. This will help them design and adopt innovative solutions that contribute to the city’s action plan while also promoting their own health and wellbeing.

Project consortium and partnerships

The Young and Safe consortium is led by Node Eight, a Ho-based digital innovation hub promoting youth entrepreneurship and innovation in Ghana. The consortium comprises a local youth development NGO, LoveAid, and public-sector education and health partners. These partners provide policy support, local buy-in, access to schools and specialist health knowledge and services.

Node Eight intends to engage with civil society organisations, such as the Ghana Aids Commission and Ho Disability Federation, to support outreach activities and build relationships with under-served groups.