From classroom to community: the impact of SRHR training in Benin

In Benin, the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is highlighted by the challenges faced by women, girls, and young people in the Sahel region. As a part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, education institutions worked together to raise SRHR awareness for more than 2500 students.

In Benin, the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is highlighted by the challenges faced by women, girls, and young people in the Sahel region. In the North of Benin, challenges include difficulties due to limited access to quality SRHR information and services, such as sexual harassment, low use of contraceptives, high rates of early marriage and pregnancy, and the risks of unsafe abortions. As a part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, the University of Parakou collaborated with CINOP from 2019 to 2021 to successfully raise SRHR awareness.

Training of Trainers
In order to improve awareness on sexual and reproductive health and rights, the training used a 'training of trainers' concept. The University of Parakou worked together with CINOP on a new SRHR curriculum for teachers of local secondary schools. This knowledge and curricula was then shared with teachers. In this way, spreading knowledge amongst youth started with empowering teachers and trainers, who then shared their knowledge with young leaders who in their turn reached hundreds students. The ‘Training of trainers’ concept really stood out as a powerful strategy, as it created a ripple effect that amplified the impact of knowledge dissemination. Thanks to this strategy, the initiative was already able to strenghten more than 2500 students.

Increased awareness on 9 schools
The outcomes of this Tailor-Made Training (TMT) are truly compelling, with a notable decrease in unwanted pregnancies reported at school levels. Schools that were part of the initiative reported increased comfort among young individuals, especially girls, in sharing sexuality-related concerns with teachers and youth leaders. The initiative impacted nine secondary schools (including Lycée Mathieu Bouké, Collège Hubert Maga, Collège Guéma, Collège Albarika, Collège Titirou, Collège Banikani, CEG Zongo, EFMS, and Lycée Jeunes Filles) and one university (University of Parakou), demonstrating a widespread positive influence on the educational landscape. Furthermore, youth took their knowledge home, to brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours, further spreading the impact of the initiative.

“The training I received has changed my life. I see many things differently, I advise my younger brothers on the right behaviors in sexual health and reproductive rights, and I assure you, we face many issues in the school environment”

A future of impact
The success of the initiative doesn’t stop in the Borgou region. After increasing SRHR awareness at 10 institutions, the strong partnership between the University of Parakou and CINOP made for a good foundation to continue the journey of strengthening secondary school youth through teaching trainers, teachers and educators. At the end of 2023 a new Orange Knowledge training was launched by the partners to scale-up impact in other departments in northern Benin such as Atacora, Donga and Alibori. "After speaking to students that were helped greatly by the training, I am really looking forward to see what the new initiative can achieve in other regions.” – Nicodeme Fassinou Hotegni, Regional Programme Manager West Africa and Sahel region from the Nuffic project office in Benin. The follow-up initiative in the North of Benin will run till 31 August 2024.

Impact of this initiative

  • 22 trainers, teachers and educators trained
  • 2505 students reached with knowledge, skills and techniques
  • 10 institutions have improved SRHR awareness

More on this training

Want to know more on this initiative?

Contact Mr Nicodeme Fassinou from our local project office in Benin.

Stationed in Bénin
+229 97 58 23 61
Available Mondays to Fridays