Subtheme: Emerging issues in Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH), Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).
Title: Increasing access of Comprehensive Sexuality Education by young people
Author: Alvin Mwangi Irungu – WAYAN.
Despite the presence of aspects of Sex Education in the curriculum in schools in Kenya, Adolescent involvement in sexual immorality is still rampant. This paper is a response to this situation.Less than 20% of young people aged between 10-14 years have comprehensive knowledge of HIV (KAIS, 2012).
Its main concern is to assess how CSE is disseminated, and how adolescent is benefiting from it, with a view to determining the way forward.
The WSWM (World Start with Me) is an ICT, school based programme which has been implemented in Kenya since 2006. The programme aims at improving the capacity of young people to respond to the challenges associated with transition from adolescence to adulthood. It uses innovative approaches that facilitate youth participation and promote responsible behaviour.
As an advocacy network, WAYAN advocates for at policy and community level for enhanced access to comprehensive SRH information and services for young people. WAYAN uses this approach to meaningfully engage young people in implementing its programs. The programs aim at creating awareness on sexuality education and SRHR in general.
The objective of this paper is to show how to improve access of CSE by using young people with age appropriate knowledge, on a broad set of topics related to sexuality including reproductive health.
Use of Youth Advocates to disseminate CSE knowledge, as a peer to peer approach and also use of social media platforms, to create awareness.
From theFacebook page with over 8,000 likes gives a lot of sexual information and discussions to young people. Also, WAYAN has been able to reach out to over 2,000,000 young people with SRH/HIV knowledge and skills, through having member advocates in different counties, who empower in and out of school young people with CSE and SRHR programs, thus showing how using young people is effective in information sharing.
Recently, WAYAN participated in a road show awareness campaign that covered about 30km during the youth week.
Byinvolving young people in implementation of CSE and SRHR programs, we increase the knowledge of young people on CSE, thus increase access of CSE.
Conclusions and Next steps
To implement adequate CSE for adolescents in Kenya, a multilevel system of approach is required. Change must first occur at the individual and interpersonal levels. Thereafter, the community level where the community realizes the benefit of this reproductive health education.Lastly, change is needed at the organizational and policy level. Government policy should mandate adolescents’ rights of CSE.
Use of social media, as a strong tool for reaching out with SRH information, while the young people who cannot access information via social media, strong youth friendly centers and young advocates can disseminate the knowledge.
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