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[:en]Today marks World AIDS Day. Every year, December 1st is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.

According to UNICEF there were 2.1 million adolescents (10–19 years) living with HIV in 2013, 80% of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa, and many of whom still do not know their HIV status.

We believe  that young people deserve adequate information and health services to prevent the spread of HIV. Take a stand today and help us spread the word![:pt]Hoje é marcado o Dia Mundial da SIDA. Todos os anos, o dia 1 de dezembro é dedicado a sensibilizar as pessoas para a pandemia da SIDA causada pela propagação da infeção do VIH.

Segundo a UNICEF havia 2.5 milhões de adolescentes (10-19 anos) a viver com o VIH em 2013, 80% dos quais vivem na África subsaariana, e muitos dos quais ainda não sabem do seu estatuto de portadores de VIH.

Acreditamos que os jovens merecem informações e serviços de saúde adequados para prevenir a propagação do VIH. Manifeste-se hoje e ajude-nos a espalhar a mensagem![:fr]Aujourd’hui est un jour marqué par la Journée Mondiale du Sida. Chaque année, le 1er Décembre est consacré à la sensibilisation à la pandémie du sida causée par la propagation de l’infection au VIH.

Selon l’UNICEF, il y avait 2,1 millions d’adolescents (10-19 ans) atteints du VIH en 2013, dont 80% vivant en Afrique sub-saharienne, et beaucoup d’entre eux ne connaissent toujours pas leur statut de séropositif.

Nous croyons que les jeunes méritent des services adéquats d’information et de santé pour prévenir la propagation du VIH. Prenez position aujourd’hui et aidez- nous à faire passer le message.[:]

[:en]Every girl has the right to complete a quality education – however, the realities are that many do not make it through to their graduation. Teenage pregnancy is a significant cause to increased school dropout, with persistently high rates across Eastern and Southern Africa exceeding two times the global average.

A consultation held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 4-5 November 2014, discusses the key role education plays in eliminating high numbers of unintended teenage pregnancy. The event brings together representatives from Ministries of Education, Ministries of Health, UN and bilateral partners, civil society organizations and research partners from across Eastern and Southern Africa.

In addition to the increased health risks, young girls who become pregnant face difficult choices with life-long consequences. It could mean expulsion from home and school; being shamed and stigmatized by family, community members and peers; increased vulnerability to violence and abuse, or greater poverty and economic hardship.

In order to combat early and unintended pregnancy, strengthening the education sector – at all levels – is crucial. Not only does education help in preventing early and unintended pregnancy but also to ensure all women and girls receive full access to the education they deserve.

Jointly organized by UNESCO, UNFPA, Ford Foundation and Population Council (Kenya), one of the major outcomes of the consultation has been the development of a regional report on the education sector’s response for eliminating early and unintended pregnancy across Eastern and Southern Africa.[:pt]Todas as raparigas têm o direito de completar uma educação de qualidade – porém, a realidade é que muitas não chegam a se formar. A gravidez de adolescentes é uma causa significativa do aumento do abandono escolar, com taxas altas persistentes em toda África Oriental e Austral excedendo duas vezes a media global.

Uma consulta realizada em Joanesburgo, África do Sul de 4-5 de novembro de 2014, discute o papel importante que a educação desempenha em eliminar os altos números de gravidezes não intencionadas de adolescentes. O evento junta representantes dos Ministérios da Educação e da Saúde, da UN e dos parceiros bilaterais, das organizações de sociedades civis e parceiros de pesquisa de toda a África Oriental e Austral.

Para além do aumento dos riscos de saúde, raparigas jovens que ficam grávidas enfrentam escolhas difíceis com consequências para o resto da vida. Pode significar serem expulsas de casa e da escola; serem envergonhadas e estigmatizadas pela família, membros da comunidade e colegas; aumento da vulnerabilidade à violência e ao abuso, ou pobreza maior e dificuldades económicas.

Para combater a gravidez precoce e não intencionada, reforçar o setor da educação – a todos os níveis – é fundamental. A educação não só ajuda a prevenir a gravidez precoce e não intencionada mas também ajuda a assegurar que todas as mulheres e raparigas recebam acesso completo à educação que merecem.

Conjuntamente organizada pela UNESCO, UNFPA, Ford Foundation e Population Council (Quénia), um dos maiores resultados da consulta foi o desenvolvimento de um relatório regional sobre as repostas do setor da educação para eliminar a gravidez não intencionada por toda a África Oriental e Austral.[:fr]Chaque fille a le droit de compléter une éducation de qualité. Cependant, la réalité est que beaucoup n’arrivent pas jusqu’à la fin de leur études. La grossesse des adolescentes est une cause importante de l’augmentation de l’abandon scolaire, avec la persistance de taux élevés dans toute l’Afrique Orientale et Australe, dépassant deux fois la moyenne mondiale.

Une consultation a eu lieu à Johannesburg, en Afrique du Sud les 4 et 5 Novembre 2014, afin d’examiner le rôle clé que joue l’éducation dans l’élimination du nombre élevé de grossesses non-désirées chez les adolescentes. L’événement a réuni des représentants des ministères de l’Éducation, des ministères de la Santé, de l’ONU et des partenaires bilatéraux, des organisations de la société civile et des partenaires de recherche de toute l’Afrique Orientale et Australe.

En plus des risques accrus pour la santé, les jeunes filles qui deviennent enceintes doivent faire des choix difficiles qui entraînent des conséquences tout au long de leur vie. Cela peut entrainer l’expulsion de leur maison et l’école; l’humiliation et la stigmatisation par la famille, les membres de la communauté et les pairs; l’augmentation de la vulnérabilité à la violence et aux abus, ou une plus grande pauvreté et des difficultés économiques.

Afin de lutter contre les grossesses précoces et non désirées, le renforcement du secteur de l’éducation – à tous les niveaux – est crucial. Non seulement l’éducation aide dans la prévention des grossesses précoces et non-désirées, mais aussi elle assure que toutes les femmes et les filles bénéficient d’un accès à l’éducation complète qu’elles méritent.

Organisée conjointement par l’UNESCO, le FNUAP, la Fondation Ford et le Conseil de la Population (Kenya),  la Consultation a eu, comme un des principaux résultats, l’élaboration d’un rapport régional sur la réponse du secteur de l’éducation pour l’élimination précoce des grossesses non désirées à travers l’Afrique orientale et australe.[:]

Every two years, the Ministry of Culture organizes the National Cultural Festival in the province of Inhambane in Mozambique. The festival hosts domestic and international artists, cultural agents, and practitioners for a weeklong celebration of diversity. This year, the festival took place from the 13th to 20th of August and included HIV/AIDS awareness workshops that were jointly organized by UNESCO and UNFPA and led by Associação Coalizão da Juventude Moçambicana.

By focusing on scaling up Comprehensive Sexuality Education and capacity building in Eastern and Southern Africa, the workshops provided participants access to high quality sexuality education, increasing their knowledge on sexual and reproductive health and rights. About 50 young people attended each workshop, which were led by Associação Coalizão da Juventude Moçambicana, an NPO that works in the area of Sexual and Reproductive Health for adolescents and youth, and whose focus is primarily on young girls, HIV/AIDS and gender issues.

“The workshops raised awareness on various issues of Sexual and Reproductive Health and on emerging issues related to HIV and AIDS prevention. Sessions were interactive and encouraged participants to make confident and educated decisions about their sexual health. Young people learned and practiced how to use both male and female condoms and were able to speak freely and contribute to discussions,” said Angelina Tivane with UNESCO.

“The Festival provided an opportunity to host these important workshops on Comprehensive Sexuality Education. The sessions highlighted important issues that directly effect young people in Mozambique, issues such as sexuality and reproductive health and HIV and AIDS prevention.”

The National Cultural Festival showcases the contemporary and ethnic heritage of Mozambique, as well as the commitment of the State to cultural diversity and to programmes, such as Comprehensive Sexuality Education. Going forward, a level of collaboration and innovation with other sectors, such as industry, commerce and finance, will further solidify the country’s commitment to the economy of cultural production, but also national development.

5 October 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of World Teachers’ Day.

Education is only as good as its teachers. They are central to ensuring quality education for our future generations. Training our teachers is a top priority, especially when integrating new curriculum, such as sexuality education, into the school systems. We recognize the need to equipping and empowering teachers with the right competencies to deliver quality sexuality education.

Challenges facing teachers

In many cases and in various countries, teachers work without resources or proper training, often teaching without comprehensive knowledge or comfort level related to topics of sexuality, especially in a youth-friendly manner. Preconceived cultural attitudes and perceptions also shape how these topics – including teenage pregnancy, condom use and HIV – are taught in the classroom.

Through the Ministerial commitment, policies, legal frameworks and implementation practices will help to improve these situations in the future.

Piloting the first teacher training workshop for comprehensive sexuality education

From 26 August to 6 September, UNESCO and Advocates for Youth (AFY, USA) conducted the first-of-its-kind piloting project: teacher-training workshops in Kampala, Uganda. The workshops aimed to provide educators in Uganda with the appropriate knowledge and skills regarding HIV/AIDS, Life Skills, Sexuality Education and Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health. This foundation is important for teachers in order to be able to support the scaling up of sexuality education in pre and in-service teacher training not only in Uganda but also across Eastern and Southern Africa.

The workshop focused on pretesting a pre-service teacher education module that has been developed by UNESCO to be used in the ESA region. Finally, the outcomes of the workshop allowed UNESCO to discuss strategies for rolling out the module at a country level.

Workshop Participants from across the Education Sector

Participants from the Ministry of Education, Curriculum Development Centre, Teachers, Scouts Association, UNAIDS, UNFPA and CSO for young people all attended the workshop. The module was well received by participants and great feedback was obtained that will be used to improve the workshops going forward.

The workshop provided great insight into the next steps involved in rolling out the comprehensive sexuality education program and even more importantly, provided a foundation for implementation across Eastern and Southern Africa.

We invite you to join us in celebrating our teachers on 5 October for World Teachers’ Day. Investing in teachers means investing in the future.