Gender & Life Skills Development

Objective

  • To enhance the knowledge, skill and attitude of adolescents & youth on HIV/AIDS, STDs, sexual and reproductive health issues.

Specific Objective

  • To prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, support and give priority for the victims of HIV/AIDS both at program and organizational level.
  • To make all programs HIV/AIDS sensitive.
  • To enable adolescents & youth make evidence based and informed decisions with responsible choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health.
  • To empower local community and parents to initiate and bring a more sustainable change in positive behavior and practices of adolescents & youth towards sexual & reproductive health.
  • To capacitate health service providers in improving user friendly services.
  • To promote male female engagement
  • To empower women to claim their rights and fight against any form of gender based discrimination and mistreatment
  • To encourage women to play active role in DEC programs and among the community
  • To enforce the implementation of organizational gender policy at all levels

Track record

Thematic Areas

Lesson learnt:

Based on the experience DEC has seen throughout the implementation of different SRH projects (such as GUSO, YID and HC), the provision of continues experience sharing platform among teachers and schools was the best practice to motivate teachers and enhance their knowledge skill and attitude. Hence, in this project to keep teachers and School Principal motivated and enhance their knowledge, skill, and attitude, we planned to have continues meeting and school visit among each school.

 

The participation of School Principals in teachers’ training created a supportive and enabling environment for teachers to facilitate Meharebe as they have a good understanding of Meharebe. This demonstrated through the classroom arrangement for Meharebe facilitated by the School Principals in schools.


Target beneficiaries

Direct beneficiaries of the program mainly targets young people between the age 10-19 years to be able to make an informed and evidence based decisions on their sexual reproductive health.. Therefore, the targets in the program gender and life skills development includes:

  • Primary targets: 10-29 adolescent and youth including PWDs, refuges, potential migrants and returnees.
  • Intermediary targets: Teachers, School managements, Parents, PTSAs, HEWs, Health, Educational and gender expertise from Go stakeholders at different level, Schools, Youth centers and TVETS.
  • The wider communities at large where we are implementing this project

Geographic Target Area

DEC interventions target focuses on Afar, Amhara and Oromia National Regional States and Addis Ababa City Administration.  The program Gender and life skills development runs its projects in Oromia, Amhara, Afar, Addis Ababa, and SNNP each area.


Major Activities

Pillar I:  Increased SRH knowledge and information

  • Manual adaptation, Contextualization, translation, duplication and distribution: continuous contextualization of manuals used by the program. Manuals include SRH facilitation manuals both teachers and students ‚ÄúMeharebe‚ÄĚ and parents-child SRH communication ‚ÄúBegebeta Zuria‚ÄĚ. With the participation of teachers, parents, students, and DEC experts, we review and edit the manuals. Meharbe includes 14 chapter that discuss issues such as and adolescents around body change and drugs, alcohol, conflicts, HIV and STI‚Äôs, gender based violence.

Capacity Development

  • Conduct Induction and refresher Trainings for facilitators:
  • SRHR Education and facilitation for adolescent, youth and parents:
  • Training on Gender Transformative Approaches
    • Community Sensitization:
    • Develop and distribute tailored and interactive IEC/BCC and learning SRH materials:
    • Innovation documentation and learning:
    • Sharing and learning
    • Consistent site visits and follow ups

Pillar II: Strengthened linkage between health sectors and schools

  • Strengthening Health Referral Linkage:
  • Health service provider‚Äôs capacity development:

Pillar III: Increased community support on youth’s SRH

  • Parent Dialogue Sessions:
  • Whole School Approach (WSA) workshops:

Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) meetings:

Pillar IV: Lobby and Advocacy

  • Evidence documentation:
  • Sensitization and advocacy on SRH, CM, TP and FGM/C:
  • Networking and communication

Tools

Gender and Life Skill Program Department Tools and Approaches

Programs Tools:-

  1. Meharebe manual: is a manual for education for health and wellbeing. The goal of this approach is to deliver comprehensive sexuality education for in and out-of-school youth through the use of contextualized manuals, with a positive, gender-sensitive, rights-based approaches so young people are offered self-development skills such as self-awareness, self-confidence and self-esteem plus social competencies, such as negotiation skills, communication skills and decision making skills, contraceptive use and the right to refuse sex and also have an pleasurable sexual development, ultimately enabling them to make healthier and enjoyable SRHR choices and decisions. This manual has 13 lessons which include the world starts with me, emotional ups and down, is your body changing too, Boys & Girls, Men & Women, culture and HTP, Human entitlement, pregnancy for boys and girls, STI’s HIV/AIDS and the role you play, love shouldn’t hurt, drug abuse and sexuality, your future, dreams and plans, my top tip peer book and exhibition. During manual contextualization health officers, education officers, directors, various CSOs who engaged in SRHR, teachers, students, etc. were involved.
  2. Peer Book: is a pocket size book which is a part of Meharebe prepared for students to precisely summarize what they have learnt in all session then to give for their peers who haven’t got a chance to take Meharebe lesson. The book has short summary on each chapter and a space for the students to provide their thoughts on the chapter respectively. This approach helps to address younger people who even were not targeted by the program.
  3. Yemisrach Manual: is a manual used to establish new and strengthen existed girls club in schools. The manual have 10 chapters with a content of vision setting, time management, talent, communication, hygiene, friendship, gender, ethics, winning behavior, am I on the right track that empower girls in life and social skill. Girls involved in this club will be empowered and be influenced to bring educational achievement, have better social skill and being a role model for their friend, overall they will be capable of achieving their dreams.
  4. Bgebeta Zuria: is a parent dialogue manual. This manual is for parents to have a comprehensive knowledge and skill on CSE of their children then to have active participation on their SRHR life. After finalizing this session parents would be able to understand their children love and relationships, emotional changes, body changes and be able to discuss freely with them. This manual has 7 chapters which include children emotion, body changes, children right and safety, HTP, teenage pregnancy, STI’s and HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and peer pressure. During manual contextualized SRHR information and education masters were engaged.
  5. Gender transformative approach (GTA): is an approach that promotes human rights-based approach, discusses power, norms and values. It incorporates empowerment of women and girls and most importantly engaging men and boys in SRH program. This approach helped us as a tool to in achieving the objective of achieving gender equality and male engagement in all of our projects.
  6. Whole School Approach (WSA): we utilize the Whole School Approach (WSA) in all targeted schools to incorporate key stakeholders such as school management, teachers, parents, education and health offices, student’s involvement, quality of implementations and project sustainability. WSA highly contributes in assuring program quality, increase stakeholder commitment and ensure sustainability
  7. Meharebe on job training: this approach also called as work based learning that assist Meharebe facilitators to improve their performance during facilitation. This has coaching tools to identify the gap of the facilitators. Based on the gap seen during coaching refresher training is provided.
  8. Advisory committee meeting: this meeting has involved all stakeholders to sensitize what we are doing. Then invite them to witness the progress we made in our intervention. In parallel we discuss on the support we can get to fill the gap we have in some activities of program implementation. This advisory committee meeting is held quarterly to update them with our implementation. This multi-stakeholder approach has a tendency to facilitate the work, ensures program success and sustainability.
  9. Girls Friendly Schools Tool (GFS): by using a scoring sheet with four dimensions of safe environment, staffing and management, inclusivity and connectedness and health and protection will be assessed by questioning principals, teachers and staff, female students and with other relevant stakeholders. Developed checklist and discussions questions assist in facilitating multi stakeholder discussions on a school with a view to improving understanding between stakeholders, which can lead to improving girl-friendly measures in schools through multi-stakeholder engagement.
  10. Youth Friendly Health Service Tool (YFHS): this scoring sheet is used to assess a particular health service with a view to improve understanding between stakeholders, which can lead to facilitating the improvement of existing YFHS through multi-stakeholder engagement by involving managers and staff, young people and relevant stakeholders in already developed closed and open discussion questions. The assessment covers information and education on SRHR, treatment, facility characteristics, staff characteristics and accessibility and involvement of youth.  

Challenges and Successes

Challenges

  • Budget limitation of the program.
  • Conservative community.
  • Schools tight schedule.
  • High turnover in government offices.

Success

  • Capacity building training on SRH, GTA, WSA, HTP and CM, parent to child SRH communication, and resource mobilization for teachers, HEW, school principals, PWDs, refugees, returnees, youth councils, TVET teachers, PTSA‚Äôs, parents, and partner CSO experts.
  • Contextualization and translation of our manuals. With our tremendous experience in delivering culturally sensitive and age appropriate SRH education and life skills, we have produced manuals that fits the setting of the specific target area. In addition, we have translated the manuals in to local languages such as Amharic, Afar Aaf, Afan Oromo, Sidama, and Hadiyisa. This has helped us provide quality based SRH education and information delivery.
  • We have revised our strategies and tools in to gender-sensitive approaches. We provided gender trainings using our GTA master trainers to our own experts and partner organizations. In addition to the previous tools we used to address gender equality issues, we have involved all of our target beneficiaries in additional undertakings in understanding of gender sensitivity and gender equality.
  • The program gender and life skills development has resulted in a great triumph by incorporating boys and men in our delivery of SRH education and life skills. This has resulted in knowledge enhancement and attitudinal changes towards their SRH. Their involvement in the program has also led them become change agents that has contributed immensely in reducing child marriage and eliminate female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), by creating awareness to their community.
  • Our program reached numerous young people in enhancing the knowledge, attitude and skills of their SRH. They have acquired important lessons such as self-awareness, understanding their body and emotional changes, being aware of their friends and environment, gender equality including GBV, HTP, pregnancy for boys and girls, HIV/STIs, and drug abuse. In addition to the critical topics being delivered, the methodology of teaching has resulted in young people to gain a life skill that assist them in their everyday lives.
  • Working with government stakeholders and the multiple dialogue sessions with the school community on key agendas regarding EHW has created an enabling environment. The positive feedback from relevant stakeholders and committees established strong relationship among schools and government offices such as health and education to support the objective of EHW of young people. This has resulted in creaking a strong association between health centers and schools to strengthen the referral linkage to ensure the delivery of youth friendly services.
  • Our strong relationship with partner organizations that are experts in working with PWD has brought keen awareness and inclusiveness of our program interventions. We have acquired abundant trainings on the concept of inclusion, mainly disability we have incorporated schools to deliver EHW of adolescents and youth. We incorporate sign language translators in all the workshops, experience sharing and training we organize. We tailored our SRH education manuals, tools, approaches and IEC/BCC materials we produced to be inclusive to different groups.
  • To boost creation supportive and conducive environment to keep the EHW of young people we integrated engagement of community members in our program. To build up the community members in addressing SRH issues to the young people we have reinforced our approach, we produced an organized modules for parents. The contextualized manual, ‚ÄėBegebat Zuria‚Äô discuses SRH issues that able parent to open a discussion with their children and transfer the knowledge to other community members.

Expected Results

The program Gender and Life Skills Development aims in achieving the following results:

 

  • Enhanced prevention knowledge and awareness on SRH and HIV/AIDS
  • Increased community‚Äôs support to achieve SRH education using contextualized, evidence based, and age appropriate manuals
  • Increased awareness and perception of health experts on sexuality, gender and SRH
  • Positive behavioral development and healthy decision making of adolescent and young people is improved
  • Enhanced capacity of facilitators, school principals, Advisory Committee offices, religious and traditional leaders, PTA members, and other key stakeholders in the area of SRH
  • Promoted understanding of SRH among all teachers of the targeted schools, and the families of the students
  • Improved linkage of SRH education and information to religious and clan leaders, health care providers, parents to increase synergy and sustainability of the program

Major Activities

Pillar I:  Increased SRH knowledge and information

Manual adaptation, Contextualization, translation, duplication, and distribution

Continuous contextualization of manuals used by the program. Manuals include SRH facilitation manuals both teachers and students ‚ÄúMeharebe‚ÄĚ and parent-child SRH communication ‚ÄúBegebeta Zuria‚ÄĚ. With the participation of teachers, parents, students, and DEC experts, we review and edit the manuals. Meharbe includes 14 chapters that discuss issues such as and adolescents around body change and drugs, alcohol, conflicts, HIV and STI‚Äôs, gender-based violence.

Capacity Development

  • Conduct Induction and refresher Training for facilitators:
  • SRHR Education and facilitation for adolescent, youth, and parents:
  • Training on Gender Transformative Approaches
    • Community Sensitization:
    • Develop and distribute tailored and interactive IEC/BCC and learning SRH materials:
    • Innovation documentation and learning:
    • Sharing and learning
    • Consistent site visits and follow-ups

Pillar II: Strengthened linkage between health sectors and schools

  • Strengthening Health Referral Linkage:
  • Health service provider‚Äôs capacity development:

Pillar III: Increased community support on youth’s SRH

  • Parent Dialogue Sessions:
  • Whole School Approach (WSA) workshops:
  • Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) meetings:

Pillar IV: Lobby and Advocacy

  • Evidence documentation:
  • Sensitization and advocacy on SRH, CM, TP and FGM/C:
  • Networking and communication
  • Monitoring and evaluation
    • Field visit monitoring template:
    • Trainees/trainers report template:
    • Quarter/Bi-annual and annual reporting formats:
    • Pre-posttest:
    • FGD tools:
    • Outer circles PMEL:

Strategies of Gender & Life Skills Development Program

Strategies Description
Capacity Development Capacity building is one of major strategy that DEC uses in order to ensure expected result of projects and bring visible impact. The program integrates different beneficiaries and stakeholders. Teachers, school management, governmental experts, CSO experts, health experts, PTSA (including parents), community members (religious and community leaders) on SRH, advocacy, Gender Transformative Approach (GTA), youth friendly services, and HTP’s such as CM and TP.
Creating an enabling environment

 

The role of community participation to ensure the SRH health of young people is vital. Therefore, we incorporate the participation of parents, community leaders, religious leaders, school directors and community level organizations in our program. We prove evidence based youth-led intervention to raise awareness and enhance the rapport between adults and young people.
SRH education facilitation SRH facilitation for in school young people is our substantial strategy that has resulted in creation of well- informed young people. The facilitations takes place in school through equipped SRH trained teachers. This guarantees quality based transfer of information and ensures evidence based education. Our well organised, contextualised, evince based, and age appropriate manuals supports the proper education delivery to the young people. On the other hand, this strategy is advantageous in strengthening school clubs and awareness raising on to the general school community through exhibitions and through youth led- activities that takes place in the schools.
Lobby and Advocacy With the new CSO law on lobby and advocacy, DEC has enhanced its capacity being an expert in this imperative strategy in addressing SRH information and education. Since the new policy, we have achieved new initiatives through advocacy and lobby that supports the integration of SRH education in the Ethiopian federal school curriculum. We utilize this strategy through coalition with different organisations and individual allies. Capacity building on SRH, advocacy and lobby, community conversation, and data documentation are the main activities that promotes the curriculum. Youth, parents and other school community members are advocates in the implementation process.

To alleviate lobby and advocacy we take part in existing and new technical working groups initiated by MOE and MOH. We support the working groups in our expertise and experience in SRH education and enabling environment.

Linking schools with Health facilities Linking target schools with nearby health facilities for age appropriate SRH service utilization. Furthermore, we strengthen referral linkage and networking among schools and service providers.
Learning and Sharing Learning and sharing of experiences among schools, youths, and advisory committees is our fundamental strategy. We create the platform to bring key stakeholders and beneficiaries to share experiences and overcome challenges.
Ensuring Sustainability

 

 

 

Using our tools Whole School Approach (WSA) and Local fund raising we ensure the sustainability of SRH education and information provision. Both tools creates the platform to augment the synergy among stakeholders such as school management, teachers, parents, education and health offices, and students.
Use of innovation and technology This strategy supports to increase SRH education and information to larger people. Using knowledge boards, local media, and cultural bands we disseminate evidence based information to the mass.
Meaningful participation of young people Involving young people in all level of project implementation and positions in the program.
Coalition with government Bureaus Women and Children Affairs, Health, Education, Youth and Sport bureaus at regional, zonal and district levels.
Monitoring and evaluation An organised monitoring and evaluation using our M&E tools.

Expected Results of Gender & Life Skills Development Program

The program Gender and Life Skills Development aims in achieving the following results:

  • Enhanced prevention knowledge and awareness on SRH and HIV/AIDS
  • Increased community‚Äôs support to achieve SRH education using contextualized, evidence based, and age appropriate manuals
  • Increased awareness and perception of health experts on sexuality, gender and SRH
  • Positive behavioral development and healthy decision making of adolescent and young people is improved
  • Enhanced capacity of facilitators, school principals, Advisory Committee offices, religious and traditional leaders, PTA members, and other key stakeholders in the area of SRH
  • Promoted understanding of SRH among all teachers of the targeted schools, and the families of the students
  • Improved linkage of SRH education and information to religious and clan leaders, health care providers, parents to increase synergy and sustainability of the program