Health[e]Living project Uganda
In June 2016, we renewed our collaboration with partner The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) to roll out the Health[e]Living program in Uganda.
With challenges such as the HIV epidemic, gender disparities in education and not enough health care professionals to serve the country, in Uganda (lay) community workers are an integrated part of the healthcare system. The World Health Organization emphasizes the need to provide these community workers with opportunities to develop themselves. With the Health[e]Living program Health[e]Foundation offers them that chance: to gain knowledge and skills and to enhance their facilitation and communication skills to educate and inform adolescents in the community.
The course responds to a clear need for education on healthy and risk avoiding life skills and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Life skills and SRHR education is crucial in winning the battle against STIs, HIV/AIDS and gender inequalities in Ugandan society. Young people are encouraged to learn how to apply new knowledge into practice, discover and cultivate their unique skills and are enabled to shape their own future. They learn to make informed decisions, are better prepared for adaptive and positive behavior that enables them to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. This, in turn, benefits their families, communities and society as a whole, a start to a compassionate and just society.
To harness sustainability of such a program Health[e]Foundation prefers to work with local partners such as TASO. Up till now 109 educators and community workers in Uganda are trained in three groups of 30-40 participants. We have seen that the educators and community workers have not only been remarkably successful in e-learning, but also in reaching out to adolescents in their community. In total over 6000 adolescents were trained by the first two groups in Uganda, which is more than 80 adolescents on average per community worker.
Currently, the fourth group of 30 participants is working on the e-learning modules and going into the field to practice facilitating Health[e]Living activities with adolescents.