Promoting Sexual Reproductive Health Rights for Young People
The CWGH Youth Programme was initiated in 2004 to equip young people with information and skills to address reproductive health issues affecting them. The programme is being implemented in 10 of the CWGH areas namely: Tsholotsho, Gweru, Plumtree, Bulawayo, Arcturus, Hwange, Vic Falls, Mutare, Filabusi and Chiredzi. Young people are trained as peer educators and peer counsellors and equipped with knowledge and skills to enable them to disseminate information to their peers in a youth friendly environment. Each area works closely with the CWGH committee and has an adult patron who is also a member of the committee.
Presently only two areas, namely Bulawayo and Plumtree are funded. There are funded by TDH Germany and TDH Swiss respectively in partnership with the local authority. The remaining eight areas are still active but are mobilising resources locally to hold their activities.
Each area`s activities are coordinated by an Executive Committee whose representatives make up the Youth Programme Executive, which meet every quarter to share and document best practices, review activities implemented and chart a way forward. The Chairperson of this committee is represented at the CWGH Annual Meetings and ensures that there youth participation and input in the broader CWGH activities. Most of the youths in the different areas are involved in other CWGH programmes hence there is an element of the youth programme in all of the CWGH work.
Aim of the programme
The project aims to improve the Sexual and Reproductive Health Status of Young People by using of a three pronged strategy that ensures that youths attain Sexual Reproductive Health. Youths are also equipped with information, education and life-skills that will enable them to adopt and maintain positive health behaviours. The programme builds the capacity of the community to provide life-skills and mentoring to youths through the inclusion of adults and representatives of community structures such as Child Protection Committees, Home Based Care Workers, Village Health Workers, the local and traditional leadership in all activities implemented. The programme also empowers youths to make use of spaces and platforms to increase their participation in decision-making processes to influence change for positive health outcomes for youths and communities at large.
1. To improve the Sexual and Reproductive Health Status of young people aged between 15 and 24 years.
2. To strengthen the capacity of youths aged between 15 and 24 years to attain sexual reproductive health and psychosocial well-being through capacity development and participation.
3. To equip youth with information, education and life skills on HIV/AIDS and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) for the adoption and maintenance of positive health behaviours.
4. To strengthen the capacity of the community to provide life-skills and psycho-social care and support to youths, children and the community.
5. To create Platforms for youths to discuss SRH issues and identify areas of concern that will influence SRH programming and policy formulation in responding to their needs.
6. To increase young people`s self sufficiency and self-relieance by establishing nutritional gardens
The programme uses participatory methodologies such as Peer Education, Auntie Stella Toolkit, Join in Circuit, Use of Psychosocial Support Tools e.g. Memory Work, Journey of Life, Tre of Life etc. The programme trains peer educators in SRH, HIV, STIs, basic counselling, child abuse so they are able to assist their peers to make informed decisions. Peer educators man youth corners where sport, theatre, drama, talkshows, debated and focus group discussions are used to disseminate information to young people in a frienldy and relaxed atmosphere. Youths also conduct basic counselling sessions but work closely with youth leaders, adult patrons, community structures, health centers and the ZRP, Victim Friendly Unit where they refer cases for further assistance. Trained youths hold communinty health actions to address prioritised health challenges they face. The health actions are supported by the office although some are funded by locally mobilised resources.