The bare facts facing our youth
With almost 100,000 teens falling pregnant each year and having to abandon their education, and the added pressure of gender imbalances in adolescent sexual relationships, in partnership with Save the Children Sweden, we have embarked upon the Adolescent Sexual Reproductive and Rights Project (ARSHR) project in the Free State.
Our unique approach to this project
We want teenagers to be the ones to drive this project, and what better way than empowering them to produce radio content on their views and needs for increased access to sexual and reproductive health. With this project, parents will also be empowered to increase their participation in the school governance.
The project focusses on the Thabo Mofutsanyane District, where we hope to better equip adolescents with advocacy skills and specific knowledge on sexual and reproductive health. These skills will undoubtedly increase their ability to influence decision making and service delivery in schools.
Another aim of this project is to promote collaborative child participation systems and processes to move away from tokenistic practices. It further promotes the establishment of youth friendly health services as part of the government’s health program.
Our successes so far
Since we have launched this project in 2016, we have managed to train and capacitate parents, school management teams, as well as a Representative Council for Learners. These groups were equipped with knowledge of understanding their rights, upholding and protecting children’s rights, and also in creating platforms of collaboration.
Further interventions such as the sensitization of School Management Team, peer education activities and community dialogues are scheduled for the next quarter.
So far, the program has received an overwhelming support from the Department of Education, DoH and DSD without whom it would have probably impossible to achieve the results we have in just about three months of activities.
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