Reaching 3,000 communities in Eastern and Southern African with sexual and reproductive health information

Reaching 3,000 communities in Eastern and Southern African with sexual and reproductive health information

  January 21, 2016 8:21 am

A community plays a significant role in a young person’s life. Whether the community consists of family, a church or school– they are a source of comfort and support; help shape a young person’s values, and inspire them to explore their own ideas. They are also vital as gatekeepers in delivering sexuality education, which will save many young lives in the years to come.

UNESCO, in partnership with the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAFAIDS), developed a toolkit to help schools and civil society organizations engage with communities on comprehensive sexuality education. UNESCO anticipates it will reach over 3,000 communities surrounding schools and approximately 20 million people through a combination of community engagement interventions. The toolkit provides practical information and advice for countries across Eastern and Southern Africa on how to support children and young people in accessing appropriate sexuality and HIV information and services.

The toolkit will help in two major ways: build community knowledge and understanding of topics related to HIV and pregnancy prevention and sexuality; and ensure communities are more supportive of young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. The toolkit was developed in collaboration with health practitioners and education specialists from eight countries in the region.

The material in the toolkit contains standardized and tailored messaging targeted toward a variety of audiences, including civil society organizations, religious and traditional leaders, politicians, educators and teachers and parents and guardians.

Having officially launched at the beginning of this year (2016), the toolkit has been disseminated in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and been translated into four languages, namely: Chichewa, Sesotho, Swahili and Portuguese.

‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’ – an ancient African proverb that still rings true today. All members of a community need to work together to educate, support and empower a new and healthy generation of young people in Eastern and Southern Africa.

More details about the toolkit

Material in the toolkit includes:

  1. How to hold comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) dialogues with communities
  2. Capacity building in comprehensive sexuality education community outreach: a manual for programmers in schools and communities
  3. How comprehensive sexuality education supports a better healthier future! An information booklet for communities

In addition, material tailored for different audience groups:

  1. Parents
  2. Traditional leaders
  3. Religious leaders
  4. Political leaders
  5. Youth – Why? Who? Where? What? And How? to talk to parents and guardians about sexual and reproductive health

To view all material, go to


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