Nino is a member of our Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG), who’s been involved with a new project looking at gender construction in schools in the UK and Ghana, and its impact on gender-based violence. In this blog, he tells us all about what motivated him to get involved, and how much he’s enjoyed the experience.

I have been working with the Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) since 2021, so for about eight months now. YPAG has taught me so many transferable life skills in such a short time. I will use these valuable skills for the rest of my life.

When I first saw the opportunity to work with young people in Ghana back at the start of May, I jumped at the opportunity because it made me think of when I lived in Uganda for six months when I was younger. I experienced how life was different and how young people were treated there, compared with the UK.

Another reason why I chose this project was because I didn’t know about gender ideals and gender-based violence, and I wanted to find out more. Thanks to this project and the other advisors from both the UK and Cape Coast, I now have a much more defined and in-depth knowledge of this subject, which has only been discussed in the world for a short while.

In both the online and in-person sessions, I enjoyed spending every moment having interesting conversations and making new friendships. I didn’t mind the online sessions but inevitably, it got tedious after two hours. However, of course, online sessions had their perks, for example, no travel needed. But I enjoyed the face-to-face sessions much more because of the contact I had with my peers, and of course the free food, even if I had to get the train early on a Saturday morning.

I feel like the other advisors and I helped the researchers by telling them about past-experiences with this topic and how it may link to similar situations in Ghana. In complete honesty, I liked every single aspect of this project because it was exploring a very interesting topic with people of a different background and culture to the advisors in the UK. In the short time I have been working with YPAG, this has been my favourite project and I hope I can do a similar project again soon!

A big thank you to Lucy, Mike, Prince, Nadia, Ana and all the young advisors involved.