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Harare, Zimbabwe – 24 October 2019: Over 2,000 students, teachers and civil society representatives  convened at the Makomo Primary School in the outskirts of Harare for the national launch of the “Let’s Talk!” Campaign on early and unintended pregnancy (EUP).

In attendance at the festive event were high level dignitaries and government officials including Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, First Lady of Zimbabwe; Prof. Hubert Gijzen, UNESCO’s Regional Director for Southern Africa; Angelica Broman, First Secretary at the Swedish Embassy in Harare; the Ministers of Education, Health, and Provincial Affairs; and heads of UN agencies and NGOs.

As part of the ESA Ministerial commitment endorsed in December 2013, the “Let’s Talk!” Campaign aims to empower young people, especially girls, with the knowledge, information and support to prevent EUP.

Today we are launching the Lets Talk! Campaign on early and unintended pregnancy I want to recognise the young people, the learners present here in such large numbers this

[campaign]

is about you, this is about your future, your rights, and your lives said Prof. Gijzen.

The key message “let’s talk about pregnancy at the right time” was echoed through narratives of shared responsibility of families, communities, and institutions to address the root causes of EUP.

The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Prof. Paul Mavhima said that the “Let’s Talk!” Campaign is coming just at the right time when his ministry is implementing multiple interventions that respond directly to the plight of the girl child, most notably, the prioritisation of the Education Amendment Bill. He highlighted that among the Bill’s key provisions are efforts to outlaw all forms of discrimination in schools including on the basis of pregnancy. To this end, the Bill provides for all learners to have access to quality education after experiencing pregnancy.

For too long, when an adolescent becomes pregnant, we have pointed the finger at her. It is time that we pointed the finger at ourselves. If a girl gets pregnant that is because we have not provided her with the information, education, training and support she needs to prevent herself becoming pregnant, said Dr. Obadiah Moyo, Minister of Health and Child Care.

Adolescent pregnancy remains a major challenge and contributor to maternal and child mortality, fuelled by grinding poverty across rural and urban communities in Zimbabwe. Perinatal deaths are 50% higher among babies born to mothers under the age of 20 years and adolescent mothers are more likely to have underweight babies at risk of infections and death during the early stages of infancy.

The First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa concluded the launch event by saying the Lets Talk campaign [is] an opportunity to amplify our actions  strategic partners [are] supporting the Governments efforts to ensure that the campaign reaches all parts of the country. Let us all amplify our voices against EUP in churches, schools, health centres, community meetings, workplaces and social spaces. Lets Talk! Pregnancy at the Right Time.  Lets Talk Health, Education and Rights for Pregnant Girls.

To learn more about the “Let’s Talk!” Campaign, please visit youngpeopletoday.org or follow us on twitter @ LetsTalkEUP

The African Youth and Adolescents Networking on Population and Development (AfriYAN) 2017 General Assembly and capacity building workshop for young people in Eastern and Southern Africa opens in Addis Ababa, Ethopia.

Drawing youth leaders from Eastern and Southern Africa, the General Assembly will run from the 7th to the 9th of November 2017 will usher in a new cohort of young leaders whilst bringing in renewed energy and robust innovation that will guide AfriYAN ESA to the next level of relevance, influence and accountability.

Under the guidance of UNFPA, Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT), UNESCO and other development and implementing partners, the General Assembly aims to foster the development of a better coordinated,managed and structured network that will further the mandate of AfriYAN ESA at regional and national level in the East and Southern Africa region.

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As part of efforts to ensure all young people have access to comprehensive, life-skills based sexuality education, UNESCO screened a new video at the 18-July Eastern and Southern Africa Commitment Progress Review Meeting, on the side-lines of this year’s International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. The video, ‘Being a Young Person’, looks at the challenges young people face as they navigate the journey to adulthood, and outlines how comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), can make this journey easier, more certain and healthier.

[:pt]An initiative that brings together policy makers, young people and civil society to strengthen sexuality education and reproductive and sexual health services in eastern and southern Africa. By having adequate access to these services, young people are empowered to make their own decisions about their health, preventing HIV/AIDS and unexpected pregnancies.[:fr]An initiative that brings together policy makers, young people and civil society to strengthen sexuality education and reproductive and sexual health services in eastern and southern Africa. By having adequate access to these services, young people are empowered to make their own decisions about their health, preventing HIV/AIDS and unexpected pregnancies.[:]

[:en]Evidence has shown that comprehensive sexuality education that is scientifically accurate, culturally and age-appropriate, gender-sensitive and life skill-based can provide young people with the knowledge, skills and efficacy to make informed decisions about their sexuality and lifestyle. Read more

[:en]Written and photos taken by Taban Robert Aggrey, journalists in Juba, South Sudan

‘Stigmatization is one of the leading factors discouraging young people from attending youth friendly health facilities’ said Dr. Victoria Achut, Director for the HIV Department, Ministry of Health South Sudan in her opening address during a journalist training workshop earlier this month.

Journalists in South Sudan will be utilizing their critical role in the community to break down detrimental barriers caused by stigma. A three-day training workshop, conducted by UNESCO, was hosted last week, 5-7 October 2015, in efforts to build greater knowledge among journalists on sexuality education. The training is the first of its kind, targeting broadcast media and radio personnel to develop scripts that will disseminate critical information to young people, parents, and communities across the country of South Sudan.

Stigma and discrimination hinder many young people from accessing crucial sexual and reproductive health care that they need. This includes receiving HIV testing and treatment, contraceptives and pregnancy care. Although the need to defuse stigma and discrimination is widely accepted across South Sudan and Eastern and Southern Africa, it is still prevalent in many communities.

Journalists in the workshop

Journalists in the workshop

Topics that will air on radio and broadcasting stations include healthy relationships, puberty and body reproduction, sexuality, gender and human rights, STIs and HIV/AIDS prevention, pregnancy and contraception, among others. There will also be further information linking young people to youth friendly centers that help them better access health supports and services they need.

“The Ministry of Health and South Sudan AIDs Commission are committed to addressing the issues of sexuality and HIV prevention especially among young people in and out of schools,” said Dr. Victoria.

She revealed that countries like Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Angola, and Zimbabwe have succeeded in establishing youth friendly centers – South Sudan will need to follow suit.

Dr. Victoria applauds the efforts of UNESCO and other development partners for trying hard to address the issues of stigma, ensuring every young person may practice their basic human right to sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Habib Dafalla, the Director General of Programme Coordination, South Sudan AIDS Commission (SSAC), said getting the media trained is one crucial way of helping to “crack down” on HIV prevalence in South Sudan. He further emphasized that journalists have an important role to play in sharing life-saving knowledge and skills to young people across the country.

Wishing the journalists good luck in their places of work. He urged to use the knowledge and skills they learned to have impactful coverage across the whole of South Sudan.[:pt]Written and photos taken by: Taban Robert Aggrey, journalists in Juba, South Sudan

‘Stigmatization is one of the leading factors discouraging young people from attending youth friendly health facilities’ said Dr. Victoria Achut, Director for the HIV Department, Ministry of Health South Sudan in her opening address during a journalist training workshop earlier this month.

Journalists in South Sudan will be utilising their critical role in the community to break down detrimental barriers caused by stigma. A three-day training workshop, conducted by UNESCO, was hosted last week, 5-7 October 2015, in efforts to build greater knowledge among journalists on sexuality education. The training is the first of its kind, targeting broadcast media and radio personnel to develop scripts that will disseminate critical information to young people, parents and communities across the country of South Sudan.

Stigma and discrimination hinders many young people from accessing crucial sexual and reproductive health care that they need. This includes receiving HIV testing and treatment, contraceptives and pregnancy care. Although the need to defuse stigma and discrimination is widely accepted across South Sudan and Eastern and Southern Africa, it is still prevalent across many communities.

Journalists in the workshop

Journalists in the workshop

Topics that will air on radio and broadcasting stations include healthy relationships, puberty and body reproduction, sexuality, gender and human rights, STIs and HIV/AIDS prevention, pregnancy and contraception, among others. There will also be further information linking young people to youth friendly centres that help them better access health supports and services they need.

“The Ministry of Health and South Sudan AIDs Commission are committed in addressing the issues of sexuality and HIV prevention especially among young people in and out of schools,” said Dr. Victoria.

She revealed that countries like Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Angola, and Zimbabwe have succeeded in establishing youth friendly centres – South Sudan will need to follow suit.

Dr. Victoria applauds the efforts of UNESCO and other development partners for trying hard to address the issues of stigma, ensuring every young person may practice their basic human right to sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Habib Dafalla, the Director General of Programme Coordination, South Sudan AIDS Commission (SSAC), said getting the media trained is one crucial way of helping to “crack down” on HIV prevalence in South Sudan. He further emphasized that journalists have an important role to play in sharing life-saving knowledge and skills to young people across the country.

Wishing the journalists good luck in their places of work. He urged to use the knowledge and skills they learned to have impactful coverage across the whole of South Sudan.[:fr]Written and photos taken by: Taban Robert Aggrey, journalists in Juba, South Sudan

‘Stigmatization is one of the leading factors discouraging young people from attending youth friendly health facilities’ said Dr. Victoria Achut, Director for the HIV Department, Ministry of Health South Sudan in her opening address during a journalist training workshop earlier this month.

Journalists in South Sudan will be utilising their critical role in the community to break down detrimental barriers caused by stigma. A three-day training workshop, conducted by UNESCO, was hosted last week, 5-7 October 2015, in efforts to build greater knowledge among journalists on sexuality education. The training is the first of its kind, targeting broadcast media and radio personnel to develop scripts that will disseminate critical information to young people, parents and communities across the country of South Sudan.

Stigma and discrimination hinders many young people from accessing crucial sexual and reproductive health care that they need. This includes receiving HIV testing and treatment, contraceptives and pregnancy care. Although the need to defuse stigma and discrimination is widely accepted across South Sudan and Eastern and Southern Africa, it is still prevalent across many communities.

Journalists in the workshop

Journalists in the workshop

Topics that will air on radio and broadcasting stations include healthy relationships, puberty and body reproduction, sexuality, gender and human rights, STIs and HIV/AIDS prevention, pregnancy and contraception, among others. There will also be further information linking young people to youth friendly centres that help them better access health supports and services they need.

“The Ministry of Health and South Sudan AIDs Commission are committed in addressing the issues of sexuality and HIV prevention especially among young people in and out of schools,” said Dr. Victoria.

She revealed that countries like Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Angola, and Zimbabwe have succeeded in establishing youth friendly centres – South Sudan will need to follow suit.

Dr. Victoria applauds the efforts of UNESCO and other development partners for trying hard to address the issues of stigma, ensuring every young person may practice their basic human right to sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Habib Dafalla, the Director General of Programme Coordination, South Sudan AIDS Commission (SSAC), said getting the media trained is one crucial way of helping to “crack down” on HIV prevalence in South Sudan. He further emphasized that journalists have an important role to play in sharing life-saving knowledge and skills to young people across the country.

Wishing the journalists good luck in their places of work. He urged to use the knowledge and skills they learned to have impactful coverage across the whole of South Sudan.[:]

[:en]Yesterday, on August 12, 2015, Young People Today teamed up with three amazing young people from across Eastern and Southern Africa for our first ever Twitter Takeover in honor of International Youth Day.

Kevin Karuga, Patrick Mwesigye, and Nyasha Sithole took over our @YPTCampaign Twitter account to chat about young people’s right to comprehensive sexuality education and adequate access to youth friendly health services in Eastern and Southern Africa. These passionate young people from Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, respectfully, are all leaders in their regions and are advocates for change and the ESA Commitment.

In case you missed the takeover, you can check out some of the highlights in the Storify below. Young people were engaging in discussions around increasing access to youth-friendly health services and comprehensive sexuality education, as well as the need for civic engagement.

#YPTTakeover #YouthDay2015

A HUGE thank-you to Kevin, Patrick and Nyasha for their contributions, without their expertise, passion, and dedication, this takeover would not have been possible!

[:pt]Yesterday, on August 12, 2015, Young People Today teamed up with three amazing young people from across Eastern and Southern Africa for our first ever Twitter Takeover in honour of International Youth Day.

Kevin Karuga, Patrick Mwesigye and Nyasha Sithole took over our @YPTCampaign Twitter account to chat about young people’s right to comprehensive sexuality education and adequate access to youth friendly health services in Eastern and Southern Africa. These passionate young people from Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe, respectfully, are all leaders in their regions and are advocates for change and the ESA Commitment.

In case you missed the takeover, you can check out some of the highlights in the Storify below. Young people were engaging in discussions around increasing access to youth-friendly health services and comprehensive sexuality education, as well as the need for civic engagement.

#YPTTakeover #YouthDay2015

A HUGE thank-you to Kevin, Patrick and Nyasha for their contributions, without their expertise, passion and dedication, this takeover would not have been possible!

[:fr]Hier,  12 Août, 2015, l’initiative « Les Jeunes aujourd’hui » a fait équipe avec trois jeunes extraordinaires venant de l’Afrique orientale et australe pour notre début  onTwitter en l’honneur de la Journée Internationale de la Jeunesse.

Kevin Karuga, Patrick Mwesigye et Nyasha Sithole ont pris la gestion de la @YPTCampaign sur notre compte Twitter pour discuter du droit des jeunes à l’éducation sexuelle et à l’accès adéquat aux services de santé adaptés aux jeunes en  Afrique orientale et australe. Ces jeunes passionnés du Kenya, de l’Ouganda et du Zimbabwe sont tous des leaders dans leurs régions et plaident pour un changement et pour l’Engagement ministériel de l’AOA.

Si vous avez manqué cette début, vous pouvez vérifier certains des points saillants de la Storify ci-dessous. Les jeunes ont engagé des discussions autour de l’accès aux services de santé adaptés aux jeunes et à l’éducation sexuelle, ainsi que sur la nécessité de l’engagement civique.

#YPTTakeover #YouthDay2015 #JournéeDeLaJeunesse2015

Un ENORME merci à Kevin, Patrick et Nyasha pour leurs contributions. Sans leur expertise, leur passion et leur dévouement, cela n’aurait pas été possible !

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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.

[:en]Kedibone Segonote – from loveLife, South Africa’s largest youth leadership, life skills and sexuality awareness program, talks about giving young people the opportunities and language to lead projects.[:pt]Kedibone Segonote – from loveLife, South Africa’s largest youth leadership, lifeskills and sexuality awareness programme, talks about giving young people the opportunities and language to lead projects.[:fr]Kedibone Segonote – from loveLife, South Africa’s largest youth leadership, lifeskills and sexuality awareness programme, talks about giving young people the opportunities and language to lead projects.[:]