JAPAN TRUST FUND KENYA VALUABLE LESSONS - PUSHING THE HIV/AIDS MESSAGE INTO SCHOOLS
Population (2001): PROJECT TITLE: Advocacy directed towards Ministry of Education officials and parents to support HIV/AIDS projects in upper primary schools in Nakuru District
Urban population (2000): IMPLEMENTING BODY: Family Planning Association of Kenya (FPAK)
AIM: To generate support for HIV/AIDS services in schools and to promote youth access to HIV/AIDS integrated prevention services
Main language/s: Swahili, English
Main religion/s: Since HIV was first reported by Kenya's antenatal clinics in the mid-1980s, HIV/AIDS has become Kenya's most serious health issue. By 2001 almost 900,000 children had been orphaned by the pandemic. It became clear to the authorities that if the situation was to improve, the spotlight needed to focus on young people. In 2003 the Family Planning Association of Kenya (FPAK) resolved to overcome the challenges in getting HIV/AIDS projects into schools.
Christianity, African traditional
A first step for the project was to encourage parents and education authorities to accept the idea of school-based HIV/AIDS education in upper primary schools in Kenya's Nakuru District.
With youth in mind, the FPAK initiative set out to:
Infant mortality (1995–2000):
build the commitment of Ministry of Education officials to HIV/AIDS projects in schools
65 per 1,000 live births
gain acceptance in homes and schools for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention among young people
Adult HIV prevalence (end 2001):
develop a peer educator network and support system to promote STI/HIV/AIDS awareness and improve access to SRH services
work with community groups and NGOs to strengthen a youth-centred response
Advocacy meetings were organized with Ministry of Education officials as well as with parents, parent-teacher associations, opinion leaders and other significant community groups. Working with other organizations was extremely helpful as the collaborative and participatory nature of the project meant the benefits of the project were spread
Literacy level (1997): 79%
GNI per capita (1999):
Life expectancy (1995–2000): 52 years
Sexual and reproductive health initiatives
beyond the students to the broader community.
with youth must
Four schools were chosen for the project. Peer counsellors were nominated by students through a secret ballot, and teachers and PTA representatives were trained. After training they ran outreach activities at their own and other schools in their neighbourhoods. Almost 5,000 young men and women (including young people who had already left school) participated in outreaches, which were carefully designed to appeal to the youth market. Poetry, songs, drama, lectures and group discussions all helped drive the message home and young people learned about HIV/AIDS and general reproductive health issues. They also received STI information, counselling and referrals for VCT.
be sensitive, relevant and appropriate to their needs and interests.
THE INTERNATIONAL PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION (IPPF) is a global network of Member Associations in 148 countries and the world's foremost voluntary, non-governmental provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights. IPPF envisages a world in which every woman, man and young person has access to the information and services they need; in which sexuality is recognized both as a natural and precious aspect of life and as a fundamental human right; a world in which choices are fully respected and where stigma and discrimination have no place. 1
w w w. i p p f. o rg
KEY ACHIEVEMENTS PERMISSION GRANTED The Ministry of Education gave permission to run the project and an agreement was signed with each of the schools. GETTING PEER EDUCATORS ON BOARD 40 peer youth educators were recruited and trained. ESTABLISHING A POOL OF TRAINERS 24 teachers and PTA representatives were equipped with skills to train others to support the peer educators in the schools. HIV/AIDS AWARENESS INCREASED Almost 5,000 young people were educated about HIV/AIDS and other reproductive health concerns. PROVIDING SRH SERVICES SRH services were provided to 230 youths, including STI management, treatment of minor ailments and counselling. REFERRALS MADE More than 150 youth were referred for VCT services. LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS ESTABLISHED Meetings were held with 56 collaborators to discuss project implementation and to review progress.
BUILDING CAPACITY FOR A YOUTH-FRIENDLY RESPONSE Sexual and reproductive health initiatives with youth must be sensitive, relevant and appropriate to their needs and interests. Because FPAK understood the need for an integrated, holistic approach, the project didn't stop at awareness training. 'Post-test' clubs were formed where infected youth could find support and information and which provided a gateway to care and treatment services. Special peer youth clubs and supporting resource centres were formed in each of the four schools. Teachers responsible for guidance and counselling within the schools were responsible for coordinating club activities. This meant that the project became part of daily life and this will help ensure project continuity. Experience gained through the project boosted FPAKâ€™s capacity to run youth-friendly HIV/AIDS services and to build partnerships.
NETWORKING FOR MAXIMUM IMPACT Special attention was given to developing inter-agency collaboration and linkages, which meant that additional human and material resources became available. Partner organizations helped train peer educators and trainers. Service providers were equipped to offer VCT and to administer antiretroviral drugs.
Project advisory committees with equal numbers of men and women gave space for parent, teacher and youth participation and feedback.
LESSONS LEARNED EDUCATION AUTHORITY SUPPORT No school project can succeed without the active participation and support of the education authorities. FLEXIBLE APPROACH Project activities shouldn't follow a pre-set programme, but must be planned with reference to the schoolsâ€™ calendar of events to prevent conflicting demands on the time of students and teachers. TRAINING REQUIREMENTS High staff turnover means a far greater number of trainers is needed.
CAPACITY IMPROVED Youth-friendly services and skills were developed within FPAK through the project. JAPAN TRUST FUND FOR HIV/AIDS (JTF) is IPPF's first fund established exclusively to support the HIV/AIDS prevention programmes of its Member Associations. This is funded entirely by the Government of Japan and is a key instrument in IPPF's response to HIV/AIDS. The objective of the JTF is to enhance the institutional capacity and managerial skills of IPPF and its Member Associations in Africa and Asia to carry out effective and innovative prevention and care programmes for STI/HIV/AIDS. Since the establishment of the JTF in October 2000, 32 Member Associations in Africa and Asia have received support from the fund to implement a total of 64 projects. 2