In Zambia, young women are most at risk of contracting HIV, and many girls get pregnant before the age of 18. Health clinics in the country have therefore begun training young volunteers to provide sex and health information to their peers.
In addition to helping young people at the clinics, the volunteers also tour rural schools and villages with a play they have written themselves. The idea is to create dialogue about the dangers of having unprotected sex, and explore notions of toxic masculinity. The play is about a young man who has three girlfriends. One of the girls contracts HIV and two get pregnant. Needless to say, it doesn’t end well.
The play is followed by classroom discussions. Pupils talk about the importance of wearing condoms during sex and why witch doctors cannot cure sexually transmitted diseases, and learn that abortion is legal in Zambia. Those who want contraceptives or other forms of help are asked to visit the clinic.
This investment in young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights is part of a major programme that the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is financing to give children, mothers and young people better access to good healthcare and ultimately improve their health. It is estimated that Sida’s support will enable around 190 health workers to be employed.
This case relates to Global Goal 3: Good health and well-being.
This case relates to World Aids Day.
Read more at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.