Protect and Respect

Summary

A Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Project focused on adolescents

Protect and Respect is a Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) project that focuses on youth. This project intends to improve knowledge of adolescents on SRHR through mass media (mainly radioprogrammes) and also encourage the youths to access services at hospitals and Health Centres. The project has been implemented in four sites in the two districts as pilot sites.

Goals

  • 12 radio magazine programs
  • 2 safe motherhood campaigns
  • 4 radio listener clubs and Theatre for Transformation groups
  • 4 community based, SRH Community Volunteers
  • 4 Individuals are identified and profiled as Role Models
  • Health

Background

Malawi has a population of approximately 12.3 million, with more than a fifth of the population being between 10–19 years. Many adolescents adopt risky behaviors without having adequate or correct information on how to protect themselves and the consequences of these behaviors. Girls and young women face a dual threat of unplanned pregnancy and risk of HIV, which often are exacerbated by poverty and low literacy levels.
However the bright side is that approximately 75 – 80% of the young population remains uninfected. In order to curtail the further spread of the HIV virus and aspire for ‘an HIV Free’ generation, there is need for concerted efforts and strategies to effectively communicate appropriate HIV/AIDS messages and skills that not only educate the youth, particularly girls and young women, but also empower them to make and act on informed decisions about their lives and future.

Initial situation

1. The trained groups are going around communities to have talks on SRHR
2. The trained groups are now multiplying other groups which are also taking up smaller
roles to spread the information as much as possible
3. The trained groups are also perfoming through drama, traditional dances to spread the
the information on SRHR

Goals

– To raise awareness, knowledge and understanding about SRHR and HIV/AIDS prevention among young people aged 15-24.
– To promote the protection and respect of adolescent rights to SRH and safe motherhood.

Primary Targets
1. Unmarried adolescents
2. Married adolescents
3. Adolescents who are sexually coerced

Secondary Targets
1. SHR Service Providers
2. Community SRH Volunteers

Goals

  • 12 radio magazine programs
  • 2 safe motherhood campaigns
  • 4 radio listener clubs and Theatre for Transformation groups
  • 4 community based, SRH Community Volunteers
  • 4 Individuals are identified and profiled as Role Models
  • Health

Project plan

1. Safe Motherhood Campaign to be done early August 2012
2. Monitoring Visit to be done end August 2012

Sustainability

• The involvement of government service providers throughout project implementations will help to ensure that the communities are supported and that there is continued follow up even beyond the project period.
• The project will advocate for the provision of Youth Friendly Health Services which will mean that where necessary service providers will have to change their system and attitude when dealing with the youth. This will yield long term results as young people will be able to access the services in a free and safe manner.
• Involvement of partners in project implementation will help to ensure that youth have access to services. SWET will facilitate the mobilization and establishment of structures of other organizations which can continue to provide services to the communities after the project.
• Community leaders, who are the custodians of culture, will be involved throughout the project. This will help to reinforce the transformation process since the leaders will be in the fore front to change things in their communities.
• The project will create or support community structures like youth and women’s clubs, traditional initiators and traditional and religious marriage counsellors, among others. In addition the project will also work with Village Health Committees as well as train Community SRH Volunteers. The knowledge and capacity of these groups will be built such that they will serve as resource persons in their respective communities, serving all youths and not only those directly targeted by the project.
• The community and individual changes that will be influenced by the project will have both short term and long term benefits. In the long term youth in the targeted communities will be able to live healthier and more productive lives, will young girls will be encouraged to stay in school and not rush into marriage and therefore contribute significantly to the development of their communities and the society.

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