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Regional News of Friday, 28 April 2017

Source: Touchpoint Media Consult

‘SKY Girls’ empowerment initiative launched

SKY Girls

‘SKY Girls’, is a movement by girls, for girls designed to strip the aspiration out of smoking and contribute to a confident and resilient generation of young women.

This behaviour change programme, will be officially launched with a massive SKY Girls Launch Party on April 29th 2017 at the Aviation Social Centre in Accra, starting 1pm prompt.

The initiative is part of a global anti-tobacco programme led by UK consultancy Good Business and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In Ghana, Now Available Africa (a leading Pan African advertising agency based in Accra) has been appointed to develop an exciting and impactful programme tailored to the unique needs and interests of teenage girls in Ghana.

Ghana has traditionally had one of the lowest rates of tobacco use in Africa. However things are changing. While just .2% of adult women smoke, according to the latest Global Tobacco Survey 10.6% of girls aged 13-15 currently use some form of tobacco product. Meanwhile, shisha is being heavily marketed as the cool and sophisticated habit of the young.

This pattern is reflected in other African countries and the Gates Foundation has been working with Good Business to develop a programme to address this potential epidemic. SKY was first launched in Botswana three years ago. SKY promotes its smoke-free message in the context of the things that teens care about – fashion, friends and music. Everyone knows that teens hate to be told what to do, and research demonstrated that girls don’t want to smoke, but feel under pressure to try. SKY encourages girls to be clear on their values and then supports them in staying true to themselves, including their wish to stay clear of smoking.

Of the initiative’s creative approach, Benjamin Anyan, Creative Director at Now Available Africa said “SKY is built within the girls’ world. SKY Girls connect online, on radio at hangouts and via the magazine to celebrate their shared values and interests and support each other in being true to themselves. The no-smoking message is subtly embedded in the movement’s values. That’s what makes SKY Girls exciting and unique.”

According to Good Business’ Senior Consultant; Eliza Preston, “This approach of empowering girls is designed not only to help them say no to tobacco but also to other harmful behaviours, building a generation of young women confident in their choices.”

This initiative will also adopt an innovative mobile strategy to support activities online, radio and through the magazine. This will ensure that the girls have a comprehensive support system to help them stay true to themselves and become the best they can be.

The initiative has support from the Christian Council.

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