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However, it can be tough for the peer educators to speak up for a more progressive take on young people’s SRHR in their communities. They have to defy all the conservative, traditional and religious norms in Zambia. This means going against adults and authorities, which is even more of a challenge in Zambian culture than it would be in The Netherlands. This is why the masturbation discussion matters: it helps the peer educators to get past their shyness to talk about sexuality, to ‘be real’ about it, to practice discussion and critically think about their own opinions around sexuality. These are important skills they need to have successful meetings with their girl clubs and to create a safe space for them to talk about sexuality in a realistic and honest way. It is a small, but very important, component in our strategy to end early and forced marriage. CHOICE has a unique role and ability here to bring up these topics in a non-threatening way and to spark the discussion. american-hiv-battle-in-africa-said-to-falter.html

‘NO, I DON’T...’

In 2014, CHOICE, together with Plan Nederland, started working on a special 1-year project to address early and forced marriage in Zambia and Mozambique. The project is part of a regional Plan program in Southern Africa called ‘18+’, which supports girls to get the education, skills and support they need to move themselves from poverty to opportunity. CHOICE’s mains task on the program is to design and facilitate trainings for peer educators, local partners and Plan staff on SRHR, advocacy and Meaningful Youth Participation. 44 44

CHOICE Annual Report 2014  
CHOICE Annual Report 2014