What do Pineapples Have to do with Teens and Contraceptives?
The pineapple is the mascot for Tanzania’s Kuwa Mjanja (Be Smart) movement, carried out by PSI’s Adolescents 360 Project (A360). The Adolescents 360 project is working to revolutionize the way adolescent girls access contraceptives in Tanzania, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. The pineapple was chosen as the mascot because “they stand tall—they are proud! They wear a crown, like a queen who knows her worth and demands respect. And even though they are tough on the outside, they are beautiful and sweet on the inside.”
Through the program’s human-centered research, the team discovered that that many girls don’t recognize themselves as “sexually active” unless they are married and, even if they do relate to that term, they don’t think they are going to get pregnant now.
Kuwa Mjanja, a brand deeply rooted in Tanzanian culture and puberty rituals, is about growing up strong and smart. A key part of the program is making contraceptives relevant to adolescent girls right now. Kuwa Mjanja brings the benefit of contraceptives into a girl’s present by positioning contraceptives as “the first step to making your life your own.” The program promotes contraceptives as a useful tool for girls who dream of a better future. It reassures girls that when they are ready to have the children they dream of, their fertility will be waiting for them. It sends the message to girls who already have children that their destinies are not fixed and their lives are not over.
Date of Publication: November 9, 2021
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