Eswatini: Zintombi Simelane

Date: December 9, 2020
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Community Mother Mentor works for SNAP a Non government organization.

The programme started in 2018 by SNAP as people and youth of msunduza were dying because of lack of knowledge about HIV. The youth of Msunduza were  getting pregnant at a high rate too.

Gender based violence was very high in our area. Women of Msunduza did not have information about family planning and their men  lacked the knowledge of their health and especially the importance of circumcision and condom use. The Sexual Reproductive Healthy Unit (SRHU) programme then started so as to be able to go around Msunduza and educate them about knowing ones HIV status.

The Sexual Reproductive Healthy Unit (SRHU) then started by visiting the community and educating them about the importance of knowing their HIV status. We then also focused on pregnant women teaching them about PMTCT, so that they could bear children without HIV though they are HIV positive. We also taught the importance of condom use and especially men about circumcising in order to less the chances of getting HIV. We teach youth about the advantages of not getting pregnant at an early stage and the dangers of STIs. We also teach the community against not reporting GBV (Tibi Tendlu). We also do referrals to organizations that deal with GBV, HIV treatment and testing, family planning, circumcision and PMTCT.

This strategy of teaching the community helps in dealing with the problems in that the people now go to the health facilitates to do HIV testing and counselling and they now take their medication without defaulting. Those that were quiet on GBV are now reporting their cases of abuse because of our teachings. The youth is now educated and teenage pregnancy and school drop-out has decreased by 70% in our area. More men are now referred for circumcision and uses condoms when engaging on sexual intercourse.


Our approach includes forming support groups, having teenagers do projects (in and out of school) where they do poems, songs and dances that talk about SRHR and the importance of not getting pregnant while you are still young. We also teach the youth against suicide and encourage them to talk to someone they can trust instead of suicide when they have been abused.

The programme is funded by SNAP and Elizabeth Glaser. They provide us with condoms and pamphlets with health information including eating a balanced diet, HIV testing and treatment, PMTCT for pregnant women. They also provide us community expect clients with stipends.

We also work with SHARP who provides circumcision services to men. They also encourage them by giving them soccer kits, T-shirts, caps which have information about circumcision. We also get support from Gender Links when they do campaigns or workshops where they give us information about GBV, its causes and how it can be fought. Our strategies include using Bagcugcuteli, Bucopho, Indvuna yenkhundla who are in the community to introduce us in community meetings that we will be visiting for health education. We also use the radio and the television where NERCHA talks about our programmes with the nation.


We have achieved so much with this programme. Women now give birth to HIV negative children even though they are HIV positive themselves. To make this sustainable we then use the same clients to go out and spread the information we give them.

At least 80% of men are now circumcised. We will continue to follow up and teach them of the importance of circumcision. Fewer teenagers are now dropping out of school because of teenage pregnancy. They are now teaching other teenagers about the problems of getting pregnant early.

We have seen an increase in GBV cases reporting because people are now educated about their rights.

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