[:en]A significant number of young people in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) lack comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), an age-appropriate, culturally relevant approach to teaching about sex and relationships by providing accurate, realistic and non-judgemental information. In fact, only 30% of girls and boys in Eastern and Southern Africa have comprehensive knowledge of HIV.

On the 28 April 2015, UNESCO, UNFPA and UNAIDS in partnership with the Namibian Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and the Ministry of Health and Social Services met in Oshana Region to discuss crucial steps in bettering young people’s access to

comprehensive sexual education (CSE) and reproductive health services. The collaborative meeting was aimed at orienting the Namibian regions on the commitment and obtaining their buy in to contribute to attaining the ESA Commitment targets.

“We need governments to take leadership in the ESA Commitment. Only when we provide clear recommendations that translate into action plans can we expand and strengthen delivery viagra sans ordonnance of sexuality education for young people in schools as well as well as outside of schools.”, emphasizes Hon. Clemens Kashuupulwa, Governor of Oshana Region.

Last December marked the second year following the historic Eastern and Southern Africa ministerial commitment aimed at scaling up young people’s access to sexuality education and reproductive health services.

Evidence has shown that comprehensive sexuality education can effectively delay sexual activity, reduce unprotected sex and the number of sexual partners and increase protection against unintended pregnancy, STIs and HIV. In Namibia, key drivers for HIV infections include the lack of male circumcision, multiple partners, excessive alcohol use, transactional or intergenerational sex and lack of HIV testing. With adolescents and young people making up over one third of the region’s population, it is critical we act now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[:en]A community plays a significant role in a young person’s life. Whether the community consists of family, a church or school– they are a source of comfort and support; help shape a young person’s values, and inspire them to explore their own ideas. They are also vital as gatekeepers in delivering sexuality education, which will save many young lives in the years to come.

UNESCO, in partnership with the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAFAIDS), developed a toolkit to help schools and civil society organizations engage with communities on comprehensive sexuality education. UNESCO anticipates it will reach over 3,000 communities surrounding schools and approximately 20 million people through a combination of community engagement interventions. The toolkit provides practical information and advice for countries across Eastern and Southern Africa on how to support children and young people in accessing appropriate sexuality and HIV information and services.

The toolkit will help in two major ways: build community knowledge and understanding of topics related to HIV and pregnancy prevention and sexuality; and ensure communities are more supportive of young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. The toolkit was developed in collaboration with health practitioners and education specialists from eight countries in the region.

The material in the toolkit contains standardized and tailored messaging targeted toward a variety of audiences, including civil society organizations, religious and traditional leaders, politicians, educators and teachers and parents and guardians.

Having officially launched at the beginning of this year (2016), the toolkit has been disseminated in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and been translated into four languages, namely: Chichewa, Sesotho, Swahili and Portuguese.

‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’ – an ancient African proverb that still rings true today. All members of a community need to work together to educate, support and empower a new and healthy generation of young people in Eastern and Southern Africa.

More details about the toolkit

Material in the toolkit includes:

  1. How to hold comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) dialogues with communities
  2. Capacity building in comprehensive sexuality education community outreach: a manual for programmers in schools and communities
  3. How comprehensive sexuality education supports a better healthier future! An information booklet for communities

In addition, material tailored for different audience groups:

  1. Parents
  2. Traditional leaders
  3. Religious leaders
  4. Political leaders
  5. Youth – Why? Who? Where? What? And How? to talk to parents and guardians about sexual and reproductive health

To view all material, go to http://hivhealthclearinghouse.unesco.org/news/safaids-and-unesco-toolkit-engaging-communities-comprehensive-sexuality-education[:]

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Written by young guest blogger: Gogontlejang Phaladi

Many countries in Eastern and Southern https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/viagra-prix-en-pharmacie/ Africa continue to show gaps in the arena of better access to sexual and reproductive health for young people. During ICASA 2015, UNICEF facilitated the session “Age of consent for adolescents to access HIV services”, which was arguably one of the sessions with the most heated debate.

This session got me thinking – ‘why is the age of consent so controversial’?

Usually, countries in the region have a high age of consent (mostly 18 years), which means young people who are under this age cannot access health services and support without going with a parent. As a young person, I can say without a doubt that this becomes a huge barrier for us in getting information about our health, like knowing our HIV status. These situations prevent us from exercising our basic human right.

The sexual debut among adolescents is happening significantly earlier in the younger generation today. Harmful cultural practices such as child marriage are leaving many girls vulnerable to HIV infection and early child bearing, mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and even death. Lowering the age of consent could be one way of addressing these issues. It can help to eliminate these barriers to access health services and HIV testing.

However, on the other side of the debate, many worry about the protection of the child if age of consent is lowered. The session had some participants, many of them parents, asking: “is my 12-year old child ready to test for HIV on their own? Are they emotionally and psychologically strong enough to deal with the experience of HIV testing alone? What about the social responsibility of protecting, supporting and guiding a young person especially at that crucial phase in life?

When listening to both sides during this session, I realized that in the end, establishing sustainable open lines of communication between parents and their children is the first step. Reducing the age of consent may burn that bridge that opens a space for dialogue. With topics as sensitive and as critical as these, it is important to consider both human rights as well as social protection of the child when reviewing the age of consent.

 

 

 

 

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[:en]On 3rd October 2015, Reach A Hand Uganda held the 2015 Intergenerational Dialogue in Kampala, Uganda. The event emphasized the importance of dialogue between generations in order to better young people’s sexual and reproductive health rights in the country. The event, which ended up trending on Twitter not only Uganda but across the region, fell under the theme: “Nurturing and

Strengthening Linkages between the Young and Older Generations to Address the Current Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Uganda.”

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Many people in this younger generation are facing many vulnerabilities across Eastern and Southern Africa, including some of the highest HIV rates, teenage pregnancy, gender based violence and child marriage. By having the right information and access to adequate health services and care, young people can fight these concerning statistics.

“We must do something, otherwise we are in trouble. If you don’t have the youth surviving, you don’t have a nation,” explains Edson Muhwezi, Assistant Country Representative, UNFPA. “I appreciate Reach a Hand bringing us together to find a solution.”

The event enabled a dialogue between youth, health service providers, parents; guardians; policy makers; UN agencies, including UNFPA and UNESCO; community and opinion leaders as well as the elderly.

“Dialogue means we are talking to each other. You talk, we listen. We talk, you listen,” says Danny Turitwenka, a local blogger. “What we need to do right now is match the old and the new. The elderly have been where we are right now, they can give advice, and we can learn from them. But they can also learn from us about the things that are affecting us right now.”

“Among

many tribes in Uganda, it’s very rare to find parents talking to their children about sexuality. Apparently it seems like a parent has no business talking about sex to their offspring. I should have gotten all the information about sexuality and body changes from my father but that didn’t happen,” explains Joel Jemba, a young blogger from Baganda, Uganda.

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As a means to address this critical issue, the event which also had a social media platform with the hashtag, #IGDUg15, helped bridge a critical communication gap. It emphasized the crucial role parents, guardians, community leaders and seniors have on a young person’s life. They are key facilitators in providing guidance to young people and improving their access to comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services.

“Seeing the audience at the Intergenerational Dialogue 2015 #IGDUg15 grow both quantitatively and in the quality of discussion from the previous year’s dialogue, was proof that people are invested in the issues that affect young people,” concludes Humphrey Nabimanya, Founder and Team Leader of Reach A Hand Uganda.

“They simply need a platform to start the conversation.”

 

To learn more about Reach A Hand Uganda, access a video about the event here or visit their website.

 

 

 

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