Eswatini – Nothando Matsebula


Date: December 8, 2020
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AMICAALL Mbabane – Mbabane youth in action against HIV/AIDS and Gender Based Violence.

Adolescents and youth in Mbabane are at risky sexual behaviours and reproductive health problems that can have long-lasting consequences into adulthood and into their subsequent generation, these age group is most vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, peer pressure and substance/ drug abuse. Then we had in-school educational sessions which lead to Spelling B competition, poem writing and debate. For the out of school youth we do community dialogues advocating for social behavioural change, promotions for condoms and contraceptives usage and distribute them, information dissemination through our information desks and media.

Our SRH and HIV/AIDS programme is aimed to accelerate reduction of new infections among all populations by giving priority to populations with higher vulnerability to HIV acquisition and transmission, interventions based on 5 pillars of the global prevention road map (not leaving out prevention of Non-communicable diseases). We reduce exposure to HIV by encouraging and promoting HIV testing, advocating for social behavioral change, promoting consistent and effective use of condoms and encouraging Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision and others.

On Gender and Discrimination this programme is aimed to make conscious efforts to promote social justice and social cohesion by eliminating all forms of discrimination and also mainstream gender into all council policies and programs (STG 5 gender equality and equity).

ACTIVITIES

In-school we conducted a debate which was for high schools and five schools participated and it was done at ST Marks high school and it was about the enactment of the SODV Act and fight against gender based violence; social education over legislation, spelling Bee competition as well five high schools participated and the words used were from sexual reproductive health vocabulary and it was at Thokoza then in Primary schools we had poem writing competition and five schools participated on HIV/AIDS as the main topic for them. All of our in-school activities were done to note that the children are able to apply the knowledge we taught them during our educational session’s in-schools.

We started out of school community dialogues advocating for social behavioural change, HIV testing and counselling support and treatment, advocating for gender rights and equality, information desks and SRH peer educational sessions, Sexual transmitted infections screening and treatment, condoms and contraceptives distribution and counselling; we do all this activities at community level for free.

RESULTS AND OUTCOMES

Adolescents who had been in the in-school health clubs are given the platform to deliver what they have learned during our educational sessions, adolescents learn to debate, to connect, to have fun, to get into each other’s shoes, to celebrate diversity and to share opinions and perspectives on real issues affecting their lives. We have a good relationship with schools in Mbabane now since head teachers are now more interested in our activities and they testify that they see change in students which is a good impact. The council has it on its budget to support HIV/AIDS programme, Gender and Discrimination activities and we are to continue with our in-school adolescents and out of school youth programme/activities. We are to do teenage pregnancy awareness and drug/substance use campaigns at community level and in-school; dialogues, educational sessions, debates discussions to let them voice out of their problems and temptations.


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