SAYWHAT in partnership with SAfAIDS commissioned by the European Union (EU) has been implementing the Young4Real FRESHCom project in 3 Districts of Manicaland province (Mutare Rural, Mutare Urban and Mutasa). The Young4Real FRESHCom project seeks to scale up access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights by young people in Zimbabwe targeting the mining, farming and religious sectors. The primary focus of SAYWHAT is to reach out and penetrate the Marange Apostolic Sect in Mutare Rural District specifically with sexual and reproductive health including HIV and AIDS information. Major activities being done under this project are sensitisation meetings, establishment and facilitation of radio listening club sessions in 12 schools and 8 colleges, music and street bashes, intergenerational dialogues, mobile taxi hop on and off dialogues, YPISA rights platforms, and one on one dialogues on SRHR. While the Primary target of the project are adolescent boys and girls, and young people (aged 10-24 years), the secondary target comprises of gatekeepers (teachers, district officials, political, traditional and religious leaders), circle of care of adolescents and YP (parents, guardians and carers) and SRHR Service Providers (health and education).
The Young People are being reached through the FreshCom Model which is an approach aimed at scaling up dissemination of strategic SRH information and uptake of key services for young people using the “FRESH Way”. The programme builds the capacity of young people to become champions of SRH education, advocacy, motivation and referral of their peers for SRH services within their own communities through the (young people information and services advocates) YPISA Champions. The overall objective of the project is to contribute towards MDG 6 and MDG 5 by enhancing the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of adolescents aged 10-14 years and young people (YP) aged 15 -24 years, through improved access to quality SRHR information and services, in Zimbabwe, by 2016.
The specific objectives of the FRESHCom project are to:
- Scale-up availability of appropriate, relevant and up to date SRH, sexual rights, HIV, gender and girl empowerment information by 25% for adolescents and young people (YP) aged 10-24years in Zimbabwe by 2016.
- Scale up dissemination of information on young people’s sexual rights in Zimbabwe, by 2016
- Promote greater access and uptake to quality SRH services by young people that include; HIV prevention, contraceptives and other commodities required for good SRH, in Zimbabwe, by 2016
- Build and enhance the capacity of young people (YP), their “circle of care”3 and gate keepers4 to protect young people from HIV and to achieve healthier SRH outcomes in Zimbabwe by 2016