In the heart of the Volta Region of Ghana lies a beacon of hope that has been shining bright since 2019. SMART HUB, a dynamic youth-led organization spearheaded by the visionary Victor Kofi Norgbedzi, has been a driving force in fostering adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRHR) while championing the cause of the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3) – “Good Health and Well-being.”
SMART HUB embarked on its journey with a steadfast commitment to effecting positive change in the lives of young individuals. In the face of the unparalleled challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization exhibited remarkable agility with its rapid response in March 2020, worthy of recognition.
Demonstrating unwavering resolve, SMART HUB launched a comprehensive COVID-19 awareness campaign alongside initiatives addressing teenage pregnancy awareness within the Adaklu District. Their efforts included the distribution of face masks to school children and the provision of essential knowledge regarding safety protocols.
These endeavours exemplify the organization’s steadfast dedication to fostering well-being. This dedication continued with vibrant Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (ASRHR) sensitization in the Keta District and Ho Municipality.
Consistently visiting schools, SMART HUB ensured that the vital conversations about sexual and reproductive health were taking place where they matter the most. By engaging directly with the students, they were instrumental in fostering awareness and breaking down taboos surrounding these crucial topics.
The influence of SMART HUB transcended the confines of the classroom. In December 2021, the organization’s outreach expanded to encompass the remote Wenyago-atiavi community, underscoring their unwavering dedication to inclusivity. Overcoming geographical obstacles, SMART HUB conducted complimentary health screenings and educational initiatives, complemented by the distribution of clothing and stationery.
These actions underscored the organization’s holistic approach to enhancing community well-being. A standout initiative, the SMART GIRL PROJECT, in partnership with Plan International, touched the lives of adolescent boys and girls in Ve Agbome and Ve Wudome. This was done through providing mentorship and education on mental health, HIV, STIs, and teenage pregnancy, SMART HUB amplified their impact, proving they are not just educators but change-makers.
Taking their advocacy to the streets, SMART HUB joined the Plan International Ghana – Alumni Chapter in SGBV Campaign, raising their voices for gender equality and against violence. Their resounding street campaign in the major streets of Ho was a poignant reminder that change begins with collective action.
The Safe Flow Project, a menstrual hygiene campaign in Adaklu and Sogakope Fieve, underscored SMART HUB’s commitment to breaking stigma and promoting safe menstrual practices. Their partnership with Plan International highlighted their collaborative spirit, aiming to make menstrual hygiene accessible to all.
From the “I Decide Drive” that sensitized over One Thousand (1000) adolescent girls and Six Hundred (600) boys in three districts of the Volta/Oti Region, to their strategic data collection for advocacy on menstrual hygiene and SGBV, SMART HUB has showcased their multifaceted approach towards realizing SDG 3. Their dedication to internal capacity building further cements their mission, empowering their members to create meaningful change.
As we reflect on SMART HUB’s journey, we can’t help but appreciate the immeasurable impact they’ve had on the lives of countless young people. Through resilience, innovation, and unwavering dedication, they have not only contributed to youth empowerment but have also taken remarkable strides towards achieving SDG 3. Victor Kofi Norgbedzi’s leadership, coupled with SMART HUB’s tenacity, stands as a shining example of what can be achieved when youth take the lead for a healthier and more empowered future.