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SASA NAWEZA WITH ICT

GIRLS CAN MAKE CHANGE THROUGH LEARNING

Introduction

Tanzania Woman and Youth Development Society (TWYDS) is one of the non government organizations recognizing and act on the unique sexual and reproductive health needs of young people. For nearly 2 years, TWYDS has led project focused on improving adolescents and youth access to sexual, reproductive health and HIV perseverance education services in two regions, under a wide range of circumstances. This project is an idea from the study of various Pathfinders’ International Adolescent and Youth sexual, reproductive health and HIV project models experienced for nearly 40 years around 30 countries around the world.
Adolescence offers a critical juncture for intervention as young people are open to new ideas and beginning to form lifelong attitudes, values, and behaviors. Our programs capitalize on the vitality, potential, and dynamism of young people, including having them as active partners in developing, implementing, and evaluating programs. The TWYDS’ goal is to ensure young people have access to quality services that are tailored to effectively meet the diverse needs of adolescents and youth across countries and cultural contexts.

Youth participation and community involvement are central to TWYDS’s adolescent programming as young people are the best poised to advocate for their needs. Given the sensitivities around adolescent sexual and reproductive health, we work with policy makers, parents, teachers, and health workers to recognize and support the special needs of this important and often vulnerable group.
Statement of the problems
Young people represent a growing and increasingly important socioeconomic segment of East and Central Afrca In fact, the adolescent and youth population is the largest cohort in the history of the Region, representing nearly 30% to 40% of the total population. (Dr. Halida, H)

Young people in our region face significant challenges related to sexual and reproductive health. Currently, around 20% of all births in Tanzania are to adolescent mothers (10-19 years of age) while there the number of youth (15-24 years of age) living with HIV in Tanzania is still increasing, and 41% of new adult infections occur among youth. Additionally 1 out of every 20 youth is infected with a curable sexually transmitted infection. In Tanzania, the estimated HIV prevalence among young people (15-24 years) is 0.4% for women and 0.2 % for young men.

Negative sexual and reproductive health issues and outcomes amongst adolescents and youth include unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortion maternal mortality, violence, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, exploitation, and sexual violence, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Many multidimensional factors contribute to the vulnerability and risk of young people to these negative outcomes, including early initiation of sexual activity, intergenerational and transactional sex, sexual violence and incest, limited access of young people to sexual and reproductive health information and services, lack of a supportive legal and policy environment to facilitate the full enjoyment of sexual and reproductive rights by adolescents, and poverty.

Despite various incipient reforms against these challenges, the key informant interviews revealed that the number and quality of services and resources available to fight against them is minimal. While service providers interviewed, including policy makers, parents, teachers, and health workers, said that they respond to these when presented with a phenomena, there are no protocols for working against these challenges continuously. Likewise, little training on proper protocols is available to service providers. Sexual and Reproductive Health services run by small nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with limited budgets are available in cities throughout the country, but there is a wide gap in health, psychocological counseling, and social welfare services for Adolescents and Youth.

One of the institutional mechanisms is taking proactive steps to address the area of concern is the provision of Adolescent and Youth sexual and reproductive Health services especially girls in collaboration with the Voluntary organizations under the scheme of Govt. Essentially the project is taking and expected to take care of all sexual, reproductive health and HIV dimensions to Adolescent and Youth in a holistic manner.

Main Component of Activities
• Creating Youth awareness on sexual and productive health
• Counseling on matters relating to sexual and reproductive health to adolescent and youth
• Advocating and empower youth to stand against risk behavior, poor policies and cultural norms which endangers sexual and reproductive health
Objectives of our projects
Our projects aim to equip young people to make positive decisions about their sexual health. It encourages
• Adolescent understand their body biological changes, its impacts and how to deal with those transformation.
• Delayed initiation of sex to avoid early and unplanned pregnancies
• If sexually active, reducing the number of sexual partners
• If sexually active, education on safe sex to avoid HIV transmissions and unexpected pregnancies.
• If sexually active, seek Voluntary HIV Testing to know status of their health and action to be taken on the results.
We are requesting support from the Tigo Tanzania to financing trainings, and other form of support that Tigo considers to benefit the society through Adolescent and Youth as it has been its initiatives to support social economic empowerment in building our nation.

Project key approaches for working with Adolescent and Youth include
• Information on adolescent and youth concern and needs collected involving people from all strata of community self – assessment approach to design culturally appropriate adolescent and youth programs.
• Direct participation of young people in their design, implementation, management and assessment on matters relating to sexual, reproductive health and HIV.
• Increasing the availability of youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services including contraceptive information and services, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and HIV, antenatal and postnatal care, as well as education on safe abortion services.
• Fostering positive community and cultural norms, such as delaying the age of marriage and childbearing, as well as individual behavior change that lead to gender equality and improved sexual and reproductive health.
• Building local and national capacity ownership to ensure sustainable sexual and reproductive health policies and programs that reach large numbers of young people. Advocating for increased resources and supportive policies for adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health.
• Reaching diverse groups of young people with tailored interventions. This includes young people living with HIV, married adolescents, or adolescent girls.
• Since women are more vulnerable for sexual exploitation and abuse, awareness is built on the nature of sexual abuse and sexual penetrators.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

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Comments

rania22's picture

We need a lot of programmes

We need a lot of programmes so as to initiate youth towards long term investments. Those investment can help to generate employment to people. Failure on that we are going to have a lot of economic crisis in our counrty, since many people will depend directly to the gvt.
zenni optical

FROM ME TO YOU's picture

Zennim You are rights young

Zennim
You are rights young people need more effort especially in education,in Tanzania we have a big challenge with the education system I prefer vocational training to reduce unemployment but by using ICT we will learn from other organization and community

Mauwa Brigitte's picture

THANK YOU STRONGLY

It takes patience for learning computer skills for youth (girls and boys) and women understand the importance of this information and communication tool, there holds only the government will progress, all where the benefit of the country. It is important that young people and women are first informed, educated and taught the concept of education to life for sexual health and have this idea of ​​creativity for community development and women are independent.

Brigitte

You were a woman leader is good for this project to protect young people is because they are the future of tomorrow. With this bad situation is to TAZANIE what the world of tomorrow, glory to God because you were you for the lute against change. The world needs people like you
Courage and good luck with your project

sylvie

Bheki's picture

Very good to know about

Thank you for letting us know about what is happening in Tanzania around this vitally important issue. It looks like you all are taking all of the right steps to make it relevant and accessible to youth.

I am wondering if the internet or digital technology is playing any role in your intervention? I know how much young people love their cell phones and learning about computers. Are you all incorporating any aspects of technology into your intervention?

You have my utmost respect and admiration for taking on this issue. I wish you the greatest success.

Bheki

FROM ME TO YOU's picture

Dear Bheki, We started with

Dear Bheki,
We started with social media like facebook page call FROM ME TO YOU and we know youth like to use internet though is expensive to them,to have a cell phone is not easy to most of them due lack of resources and poverty as organization we think it is better to have computer center where by they will come and communicate with other youth from the world and learn how they can protect from early pregnancy,our culture does not allow me as a mother to talk about sex education but by using ICT they will learn and share their views,rap cases are many but we think is we have gender desk where by girls they will report by using free number for them will be easy to express their views

FROM ME TO YOU's picture

Dear Bheki, We started with

Dear Bheki,
We started with social media like facebook page call FROM ME TO YOU and we know youth like to use internet though is expensive to them,to have a cell phone is not easy to most of them due lack of resources and poverty as organization we think it is better to have computer center where by they will come and communicate with other youth from the world and learn how they can protect from early pregnancy,our culture does not allow me as a mother to talk about sex education but by using ICT they will learn and share their views,rap cases are many but we think is we have gender desk where by girls they will report by using free number for them will be easy to express their views

Anita Muhanguzi's picture

well done

Dear Bheki,
You have surely done well for your community and i would encourage you to continue the good work. The world is changing because of people like you. Thank you and God bless you my dear sister.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
a.kiddu@gmail.com
cfmlegal@gmail.com
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

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