|MyAge training of the champions|
… ‘awkward’ questions when seeking treatment removed
MASVINGO – MyAge Zimbabwe, a youth-focused Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), is scaling up sexual reproductive health and rights education in Masvingo through training peer to peer champions.
A total of 40 youths below the age of 24 years were trained at a workshop which sought to equip them with skills needed for them to be able to train their own peers.
Beneficiaries included youths with disabilities, youths with HIV, youths in business and students in tertiary institutions.
MyAge Zimbabwe’s Girls Choose programmes officer Chengetai Zumbika said the initiative had so far brought together 75 young people who now have skills to share their knowledge with others.
“We have discovered that most youths shy away from seeking sexual and reproductive health-related services due to the many ‘awkward’ questions they are asked at clinics and hospitals. Therefore, our champions will identify cases and persuade them to go and seek attention as well as refer them to the right places,” said Zumbika
Each champion will get a monetary token depending on the number of people he or she would have referred.
“A person who needs services will simply go to the referral point and produce the slip with his or her details already written on them. The service provider will not ask any questions because all the details are already written on the slip,” said Zumbika
The training workshop was done in collaboration with service providers including Population Services International (PSI), Centre for Sexual Health and HIV and Aids Research (CeHHAR), Hands of Hope, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) among others.
The champions will be referring people to local council clinics, Masvingo Provincial Hospital, New Start Centre and other places for services like cancer screening, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) treatment; HIV related services as well as to access condoms.