A year in review: Highlights from 2014Share
2014 has been a year full of impressive progress from countries involved in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Commitment. Since the signing of the commitment in December 2013, huge strides have been made to deliver comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for young people.
As we ring in a new year, join us as we take a look at just some of the country progress and event highlights from this past year…
Youth Career Festival in Namibia Provides Comprehensive Sexuality Education
An annual youth career festival was hosted in Namibia that provided SRH services to approximately 4,000 young people who attended. Condom demonstrations and free integrated HIV and SRH services, including HIV testing, were provided.
Zambian Government Implements National Programme on Comprehensive Sexuality Education
The national CSE programme launched in April of this past year targets 1,750,000 young people, between the ages of 10 to 24, with a new CSE curriculum. Part of this includes strategies to give young people easier access to HIV testing and other necessary health services.
The overall goal is for adolescents and young people in Zambia to receive better sexual and reproductive health services and education, with a focus on preventing new HIV infections and unintended pregnancies.
The President of Malawi Signs Commitment to End Child Marriage
On 25th July 2014 the President of Malawi, His Excellency Peter Mutharika, signed the SADC Commitment to end child marriages. Following the signing of the commitment, a national campaign on ending child marriages was launched in October.
Also being developed, the Malawi Cabinet has endorsed the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill, which will be taken to Parliament for passing to become a law. The proposed law would make 18 the minimum age of marriage for girls and boys, addressing a major shortfall in Malawi’s previously made efforts.
HIV/AIDS Awareness Workshops held at Cultural Festival in Mozambique
The National Cultural Festival, organized by the Ministry of Culture in Inhambane, Mozambique, hosted domestic and international artists, cultural agents, and practitioners for a weeklong celebration of diversity.
The festival took place this past August and included HIV/AIDS awareness workshops that were jointly organized by UNESCO and UNFPA and led by Associação Coalizão da Juventude Moçambicana.
By focusing on scaling up Comprehensive Sexuality Education and capacity building in Eastern and Southern Africa, the workshops provided participants with access to high quality comprehensive sexuality education, increasing their knowledge on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
South Sudan Ministry of Education Prepares Integration of Comprehensive Sexuality Education into Curriculum
Over 60 stakeholders gathered at the Millennium Hotel in Juba, South Sudan, for a three-day workshop to discuss the strategies of integrating CSE into schools. The National Ministry of Eduction, Science and Technology (MOEST) has been preparing for the integration of CSE over the past year. The aim is to strengthen HIV prevention and fostering positive health outcomes in South Sudan with the theme: Young people today, time to act now.
The outcome of the government led process motivated key education partners, including: MOEST, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF and Light for the World to improve integration of CSE into Life Skills guidelines.
Inaugural Intergenerational Dialogue on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights takes place in Uganda
At this event, 250 individuals including, youth, elders, civil society organizations, policy makers and educators from across Uganda were brought together to discuss how to strengthen effective and meaningful involvement of young people in sexual reproductive health rights.
Discussions at the event covered technical, contextual, cultural, religious, age and gender dynamics, offering a platform for young people to engage with leaders from government, the private sector and civil societies to share stories, recommendations and perspectives on concerns and issues in regards to sexual and reproductive health rights.
The even highlights important lessons learned from the experiences of older advocates of sexual health, and offered a safe space for young people to opening discuss the issues facing their generation.
ASRHR 2014 Symposium hosted in Lusaka, Zambia
The Investing in Adolescents Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and HIV 2014 Symposium was hosted in Lusaka, Zambia early December.
Over 1,500 delegates, from 29 countries were in attendance and of those attendees, 350 young people stood up to speak out for issues that directly impact them and their rights.