Eastern and Southern Africa count 158 million young people between 10 and 24 years old – expected to rise to 281 million by 2050. That is a booming potential of young people on their way to contribute to family, local and national welfare and economic development. But along the way, they encounter many challenges related to their sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR): early and unintended pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), gender-based violence, and child marriage. These seriously undermine education opportunities, especially for girls, and affect future health and opportunities.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)
Edukans has developed specific curricula for comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) which address children, adolescents, and young people in primary school, secondary education, and vocational training. The curricula contain lessons on individual growth, relationships, children’s rights, sexuality and love, prevention of HIV, STI’s and unintended pregnancy, and harmful traditional practices like early marriage. The curricula always conclude with a lesson that invites for informed decision making: ‘My future, dreams and plans’. To enhance the effect of CSE in schools, Edukans adds components of parenting and referral to youth friendly health services (YFHS), to increase the empowerment of young people to make healthy and informed decisions on their SRHR. When introducing a CSE to a new country, Edukans adapts the content of the curriculum, based on the actual needs of the target group. Edukans and our master trainers in the countries we work in, train teachers to become skilled CSE facilitators, not only by introducing the content knowledge on SRHR, but also through training on participatory teaching techniques, which invites students in discussion and the development of attitude and skills on SRHR. The teacher training encompasses modules on gender responsive pedagogy, as to create a lesson environment in which girls have the same opportunities as boys. Our holistic STAR-school model assures a sustainable introduction and implementation of CSE in schools. This model guarantees a conducive environment where school management, parents and community are supportive and take responsibility for successful implementation of the programme, to obtain positive behaviour change among the youth.