Written with support from Sandra Naula (GUSO peer educator)
For a small village setting, Budumbuli bustles with a lot of commerce. The young people wake up on a daily to go around chasing the Ugandan dream, make an extra shilling and hope for a brighter future. On 4th October 2018 we were excited to hold an outreach in Budumbuli’s convenient ambience. It was a full package of an integrated link up for young people, comprising of many different activities that included door to door mobilisation, Hepatitis B screening and HIV testing and counselling, TB testing guidance, family planning sensitisation ,focus group discussions, table talks, peer learning sessions among others.
The community outreach was organised under the Get Up Speak Out (GUSO) programme. Implemented together with partners in the SRHR Alliance, The Get Up Speak Out (GUSO) is a 5 year (2016-2020) strategic partnership between the Netherlands, MoFA, and the GUSO consortium (dance4life, Rutgers, Simavi, Stop Aid Now, Choice and IPPF). GUSO is building on Access Skills and Knowledge (ASK) achievements and lessons learned implemented by the SRHR alliance. The GUSO project is implemented by Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU) in Jinja and Mayuge districts.
With the support of our Jinja Based peer educators, we had to put our feet forward and divide roles so that everyone could have a chance to be involved in the outreach. We had a good turn up of over people from the community who embraced the outreach and we’re cooperative as they reached out to update their HIV status, get to know their Hepatitis B stand, among others.
Our peer educators supported us very greatly when it came to mobilization of people in the community- they also went hands on disseminating the information we imparted when we trained them like family planning information that they freely gave to young people in the community using the family planning toolkits we provided.
A group from Nakanyonyi Orphan and family care center were teaching young people how to make reusable pads with the help of the peer educators in order to support the local young girl to stay in school and not to be stigmatised because of menstruation- they also went ahead to preach menstrual hygiene.
We had a focus group discussions (FGDs) where we deliberated on the different challenges young people in the community are encountering the youth leader from the community stressed out that they don’t have a youth friendly Corner in the community which has made it hard for the young people to access the different services like the SRHR information, access to condoms, family planning and many others . The young people suggested for a community dialogue to be conducted with the gatekeepers in the community like the Mayor, health workers, LCs and district officials so that they can air out all there issues and forge a way forward.
Many young people in Bulambuli stressed a challenge of teenage pregnancy which is very rampant in their community and the girls are now resorting to abortions which are not safe. Other problems faced by Young people in this community include child abuse, early marriages, sexual and domestic violence among others
We also did multiple condom demonstrations (male and female) within our SAUTIplus tent, a youth friendly space where young people gather to learn, and seek information regarding SRHR issues. For contraception to work, it’s imperative to teach young people the correct way it is to be used. In our SAUTIplus tent, we also involved the young people in interactive games like quiz Ludo using HIV quiz cards, Twogere toolkit which provided a platform that enabled us to interact and create conversation regarding SRHR with the young people.
We later were joined by the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance steering committee, a body that governs the SRHR Alliance, a coalition of partner organisations with whom we implement the Get Up Speak Out (GUSO) programme. As they enjoyed our edutainment session, they were engaged in the table talks with the use of the Twogere toolkits by our peer educators.
The event was summed up with edutainment from local artists like Short Smart, Juma Multiple, among others- And guess what we surprised people with Geosteady who wrapped up the event with entertainment and later sang the Get Up speak Out song which excited the peer educators, people from the community and the SRHR Alliance steering committee who joined him on the dance floor for to celebrate empowerment.