"Together, we are creating a healthier future for ourselves and future generations. We will advocate for the elimination of sexual harassment and gender-based violence, promoting safe campuses where all students can thrive," declared Arnold Magola. "As a peer educator, I am proud to contribute to the creation of a safe and supportive campus environment."
To promote a safe and inclusive campus environment, champion lecturers and peer educators at Makerere University have received comprehensive training on sexuality education. Since March 2023, over 150 peer educators from three university campuses have been introduced to life skills-based sexuality education modules developed for Higher and Tertiary Education Institutions (HTEIs).
The Education Health and Wellbeing Programme, in collaboration with UNESCO, the Ministries of Education and Health, conducted a series of trainings in higher and tertiary education institutions. These trainings aimed to accelerate the institutionalization of sexuality education and the delivery of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) services.
Mr. Henry Ssemakula, a Senior Education Officer attached to the Guidance and Counselling Department at the Ministry of Education, highlighted several factors that make young people vulnerable during a presentation at the training at Makerere University. He emphasized, “School dropout often reduces young people's chances of economic independence. Lack of negotiation power, limited knowledge, and access to SRHR information are some of the key issues that make young people fall victim to various circumstances."
The dedication of peer educators to address students' needs is commendable. Miriam Najjingo is proud of her new function: "I feel empowered to educate my peers about sexual and reproductive health and contribute to a healthier campus community. I now have the knowledge and confidence to make informed choices about my sexual and reproductive health. We are grateful for these initiatives and the opportunities they provide. They equip us with knowledge, support, and a voice in shaping our future. With the O3 Plus project, we are not just recipients of SRHR services; we are empowered individuals capable of making positive choices."
To enhance Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) services at higher and tertiary education institutions in Uganda, the Education Health and Wellbeing Programme, through the O3 Plus project, is diligently working towards building the capacity of health care providers, champion lecturers, peers, and monitoring and evaluation teams in Uganda. UNESCO, in collaboration with Ministries of Education and Health, conducted a series of trainings targeting several cadres to accelerate the institutionalization process of sexuality education and the delivery of SRHR services for students in Higher and Tertiary Education Institutions.
"Young people are the futures of our nation and if your futures are compromised, then we do not have a country tomorrow. The fact that there's a lot of sexual reproductive health information you don't know means there's a lot of vulnerability among you," declared Ms. Rosemary Nasaba, the O3 Plus Project Officer while addressing the students gathered at Makerere University.
Through education, training, and monitoring, the O3 Plus project strives to empower young adults to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, ultimately contributing to their overall well-being and the development of a healthier society.
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