To mark Women’s Month in South Africa, Girl Effect is teaming up with content creators to launch on TikTok for the first time, to reach adolescent girls with information, advice and support about sexual and reproductive health (SRH).

The eight-week TikTok campaign is launching under Girl Effect’s global, mobile-first brand Springster, which provides a non-judgemental online space for girls to grow their knowledge and confidence about topics like puberty, mental health, sex, STIs and relationships.

The campaign will run across Springster’s TikTok profile to reach adolescent girls and young women aged 13-24 in South Africa, expanding to Mozambique and Ghana in September. It aims to increase girls’ awareness of sexual health services, build knowledge and confidence and direct girls to Big Sis, Girl Effect’s innovative AI-powered chatbot, as well as to SRH services provided by our partner Marie Stopes.

It will feature content from young female South-African TikTok creators, including ZayaanFeighLauren and LaraNaz and Refiloe. They will create a range of videos such as Q&As on sexual health using TikTok’s Stitch feature, “MeWhenI” reactions, dances and experience sharing.

The campaign will also include a  “Facts Matter” content series, with videos from female doctors which aim to deliver SRH knowledge in a relevant, girl-friendly way. The doctors will answer questions set by the TikTok creators and Springster characters, and also share advice and tips on topics like what to expect when visiting a health centre and how to enjoy safe sex.

“Through our years of work on Springster and Big Sis, we have got to know South African girls, helping them build their confidence, develop informed attitudes and increase their knowledge,” said Laura Baines, Springster Senior Manager, Girl Effect.

“By meeting girls on the social platforms they are using, including TikTok, we can help connect them to the services they need to lead happy, healthy lives.”

Reaching girls at scale online

In an increasingly digital world, it is more important than ever to meet girls on the social platforms they’re using to reach them with the information they need on the topics that matter to them.

That includes getting the right SRH support. Teenage girls are more impacted by STIs and unplanned pregnancy than any other demographic, caused by a lack of knowledge, confidence and feelings of shame when it comes to the body, puberty and sex.

Girls are afraid to ask about and access services available to them because of the shame associated with pre-marital sex and the stigma of being seen at a health centre, meaning SRH services go unused.

By showing up on the platforms girls know and trust – now including TikTok – we can create online spaces where girls can grow their knowledge and confidence, to make informed choices and changes in their lives.

With two million girls already using Springster each year and more than one million messages sent to our virtual Big Sis chatbot, we are building trust and directing them to Marie Stopes South Africa’s clinics when needed.