Today Jessie and I went to St. Nicholas to talk to the students about the problem of teenage pregnancy in Cape Coast. Currently, Cape Coast has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy than it has ever had in the past along with a high dropout rate of female students. We spoke to the female students while two of our male colleagues, Emmanuel and Crispen, spoke to the male students. The teachers gave us a megaphone and told us to speak slowly because the students couldn’t understand our accents. As much as Jessie and I tried to change or accents for them to understand us better, it didn’t really work and the teachers still had to repeat what we said to the students in their Ghanaian English which is much lower and slower.
Our presentation lasted about 15 minutes rather than an hour, but all the questions the students asked made up for the time we didn’t use. At first the girls seemed shy about asking questions out loud in front of everyone so they would tap us and whisper questions to us. The first question we were asked was “Can you get a disease from kissing?” We tried to explain mononucleosis to them but neither the students nor the teacher seemed to know what that was. Another student asked why we were encouraging them to have sex. I was kind of surprised by her question, but I told her that wasn’t our intention even in the slightest. We were there to provide information about sexual reproductive health so that they were well informed whenever they chose to have sex whether it was now or 10 years from now.
When the discussion came to an end, Jessie and I returned the megaphone and waited outside in the shade for Emmanuel and Crispen to come out. While we were waiting, all the girls we had just spoken to came outside and continued to ask us questions, asked if we could bring them condoms and asked for our phone numbers for future questions. Also, I was holding a bag of candy and was attacked by at least 10 girls when they saw what was in the bag.