Henok Amare is a 24-year-old visionary living in Yelen Kebele of Kewot district. He is a fourth-year nursing student at Gondar University who is very passionate about serving his community upon graduation. Henok believes lack of job opportunities, disempowerment, and lack of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services are a few of the key challenges experienced by young people in Yelen kebele.
Henok spoke on how these challenges manifest in the day to day lives of adolescent girls in his community. He said, “Five or six years ago, I remember many adolescent girls had jumped into marriage and stopped their education at grade seven or eight. There were a limited number of girls who completed grade 10. There were moments I remember where about 10 of my female classmates had gotten married within a day. I can’t forget a very clever girl who dropped out at grade eight due to marriage. I always feel sorry when I see her with her two or three children living an ordinary life. These friends look much older than they are because they have become mothers at an early age. “
Henok is hopeful about the future of young people in his community after witnessing widespread changes in behavior. “Year after year, I have observed great changes in the lives of adolescent girls in particular. I am seeing adolescent girls who express themselves freely and with full confidence. Many girls are completing their high school education, and some are even attending college. “
Henok is an active member of Yelen Kebele youth club, one of the youth clubs YIDA works with. During the summer period, he actively engages in club activities including peer-to-peer education and community outreach. He also coordinates volunteer activities for youth in Yelen Kebele. As a fourth-year nursing student, he applies his health-related knowledge and skills to advise young people and other community members on SRH matters. Henok envisions a future full of empowered young people, especially young women, who are able to live out their dreams. He believes adolescent girls and boys should be free from all harmful practices and enjoy the full spectrum of their rights as individual.
Amref Health Africa teams up with African communities to create lasting health change.