YOUTH ADVISORY PROGRAMME, Ibadan, Nigeria.
P.O. Box 27699, Agodi
YOUTH ADVISORY PROGRAMME
Main Topic Area: Adolescents and young adults
Other Topic Areas: Sexual transmitted diseases; Reproductive Health
Implementers The project is being implemented by an NGO, Youth Advisory Programme, working in Lagelu Local Government, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
Funding Still at the developmental stage. Currently enjoys no external funding, but desirous.
Objectives The overall aim is to strengthen the self-esteem of adolescent and young women at risk of violence, abuse and entry into the sex trade, to equip them with skills for conflict resolution, and to provide them through discussion with realistic expectations in their daily lives. Within this context, there are two main objectives: Community-level programme for the prevention of violence against adolescent girls Prevention of violence against young women who live or work in the streets and who are at risk of being sexually abused, and treated of the consequences and abuse
Background Youth Advisory Programme aims through educational processes to develop a new relationship between men and women in which solidarity, respect, happiness and growth replace exploitation, violence, and oppression. The initial focus is on helping young women who were physically or psychologically abused. Secondly to focus attention on the prevention of violence and abuse against adolescent girls and on the treatment of the consequences of this abuse. A particular focus is on young women either involved in, or at risk of joining, the sex trade, where in addition to other dangers the young women are highly vulnerable to HIV infection.
Main Activities This is mainly a youth club activity. Through specially designed questionnaires administered in public schools to adolescent and young girls at risk of violence and sexual abuse are identified. These girls are invited to join a mutual support group that includes an adult educator and a teenage monitor. The girls are helped to confront and modify their own familiar situations. In addition the girls receive individualized and group psychological assistance as well as skills training. The organization works with mutual support groups of up to a dozen adolescent girls within the community through regular weekly meetings. Each session has a special subject of discussion including family relations, work, school, drugs, and sexuality, including information on HIV/AIDS and STDs. Whenever a girl has a specific problem - for example, the threat of violence within the home, abandoning school, sexual abuse, or drug use - she is scheduled for specialized support. After an adolescent has participated in these groups, we intend offering courses of varying duration in such areas as theartre, handicrafts, etc. It is hoped that other professional courses like desktop publishing, simple programming, computer assembly and repair will be introduced in collaboration with other NGOs. In addition the girls will be encouraged when possible, to finish secondary school.
Expected Outcomes/outputs None of the adolescent girls will return to the streets The older girls will have attained broad personal and professional development The psychological support will be sufficient to meet the long-term needs of the girls Through the programme, the girls will have received integrated approach toward sex education, probably better in quality than that received by their middle- or upper-income counterparts at school. Strengthened school performance and reduced absenteeism and repetition of studies. After-school activities that will improve both their self-esteem and their academic performances.
Positive features The clear positive features of this programme include: The long-term support and care given to adolescents and young adults The multifaceted approach, including psychological attention, social work, and academic and professional training Encouraging girls to develop the capacity for taking responsibilities, and then giving them the opportunity to do so The incorporation of sexuality education and HIV-prevention activities within the larger approach of life-skills training and community development action The low cost of the programme A formal evaluation is needed. Such an evaluation would identify quantitative achievements as well as areas in which activities or operations could be improved.
Special Note However accessible and effective services may be, they are valueless unless potential clients are prepared to use them. The acceptability of services is likely to be greatest when care is integrated into routine health services; care is less acceptable when provided through dermato-venereology departments, and is poorest when delivered through specialized STD clinics. Examples of the constraints on acceptability, some of which overlap with access and effectiveness, include: inconvenience of opening times and long waiting periods; poorly maintained and unattractive physical facilities; judgmental staff attitudes; poor staff communication skills; stigmatization of those seeking advice about STDs; failure to relieve symptoms; unaffordable charges; lack of privacy and perceived lack of confidentiality.