Young People & SRH & HIV/AIDS Efforts (SLN 2 Uganda)
The second Sharing and Learning Network (SLN) in Uganda on the topic of engaging young people with SRH and HIV/AIDS efforts with focus on peer education approaches was one of the exciting sessions organized by the DFID-CSO Youth Guidance Project team. This event was hosted at the UNFPA offices in Kampala on the 3rd of September 2009, during which a number of representatives from different institutions reflected upon and shared their expertise and experience on the topic at hand.
The second SLN discussed the efforts of engaging young people in Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) interventions, looking at the peer education approach as a best practice in this area. The session began with a key note presentation from SPW Uganda on how they have implemented the Peer Education approach, outlining its successes, challenges and best practice during implementation. This served to open the session and to trigger lively discussion when the participants broke into subgroups to address 3 key areas:
- Do the Ugandan HIV/AIDS policies make specific reference to youth and SRH, and how it involves them in the fight against HIV/AIDS?
- What are some of the challenges encountered while using the peer education approach in implementing SRH Programmes among the youth? What have we learned so far about how to do this effectively?
- What initiatives (programmes) have government ministries, donors and CSOs been implementing on SRH through the peer education approach?
The groups discussed the above topics and presented back their findings during the plenary discussion. These discussions were then followed by a session in which common leanings and guiding principles were distilled from the group discussions.
I personally noted that there are a number of CSOs who have used the peer education approach through SRH programmes in different parts of Uganda. It further indicated that there is a need of developing a working group on SRH to continue sharing and learning from each other.
I also noted that while designing youth programmes on SRH we shouldn’t work in isolation but rather in an integrated way with other programmes and sectors, like economic empowerment and livelihood. I hope this will spark off a continuing discussion on the topic at hand and also act as a starting point to maintain this as a working group.
Please click here for the SLN 2 report