Team spirit, pouring rain, campfires, focus group discussions, first aid learning,sports, fun quizzes, sexuality workshops, HIV testing and counseling, worship, new friendships, music, dance and drama, and community work – yes, all this happened at the different CBOs’ Youth Camps!
From across the three districts, the Peer educators from Reach a Hand, Uganda (RAHU) together with the trained youth groups from the different community based organizations met in different places within Mbarara, Wakiso and Jinja for up to a week.
Kyuka Youth Outreach, Real Agency for Community Development (RACD) and Child Awake Initiative Africa (CHAIN), equipped the campers with adequate knowledge on sexuality for them to be their peer ambassadors from 7th- 12th December, 4th- 7th December and 3rd- 10th December respectively.
At the end of the camps, a cobweb network of young and empowered minds had been created ready to address the sexuality issues affecting their peers – the primary beneficiaries of the information they had received in the camps.
The key highlights of the activities in the CBOs’ Youth camps.
Kyuka Youth Outreach. Kyuka Youth Outreach held the full week ‘OneFest’ youth camp at Kasenyi Landing Site, Entebbe where it a conducted sexual reproductive health and rights training through creative arts( Music, dance and drama).
During the week, music (singing) and dance competitions based on SRHR, were conducted at the site where young people had an opportunity to pass on the information from the camp to their peers during the outreach.
Away from the training, Kyuka also carried out community work in Kasenyi (offering free barber services for children to mobilize them to their outreaches and community stop overs to conduct flash mobs) in a bid to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and sensitization and later on donated simple food stuffs to elderly homes as a way of contributing to the community’s well being.
The peer educators carried out community sensitization on health issues such as hygiene and safe sexual behavior in the different communities where stop overs were made. These were conducted in the suburbs of Kasenyi Landing site and trading centres where many people converge.
To crown off the camp, a boat race between the community members was held and later, a football match between the peer educators and the community was conducted as well as free condom distributions and demonstrations.
Child Awake Initiative Africa (CHAIN). CHAIN held its Transformers Youth Camp under the theme “our time our role” at Busoga Gateway High School, Jinja which brought together over 250 young people with an aim of sharing SRHR information with them
During the one week camp,different sessions on a range of topics including leadership, life skills, HIV/AIDS, communication, cyberbullying, menstrual hygiene, gender, child rights and responsibilities.
To make the camp fun and educative, entertaining activities like treasure hunter, Mr and Mrs camp competition, cultural presentations, campfire, community outreaches and various indoor games were conducted.
Real Agency for Community Development (RACD). Held under the theme “Increasing HIV/AIDS awareness among the young generation”, the three days camp was conducted at Mbarara High School.
The main topics which were discussed at the camp, centered around HIV/AIDs awareness, Teenage pregnancy, Peer pressure and Drug/Substance abuse and these were mainly conducted in three focus group discussions
To further disseminate the SRHR messages to the campers, a drama competition was organised in three categories namely; mimes, dance and skits whose performance was based on the SRHR themes.
We can’t wait to set our eyes on the videos which have been shot by Muduuma Youth Network (MUYONET), that has been at the forefront of using creative visual arts to communicate SRHR messages to young people in Mpigi District. The videos which will be available by end of January 2016, showcase a holistic voice representation of SRHR awareness for young people from service providers, youth themselves, parents and leaders in Mpigi district .