Breaking Generations of Silence

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Breaking Generations of Silence. Shabab TAHSEEN: Innovations in BCC led by youth. TAHSEEN Project APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition December 10-14, 2005 Philadelphia, PA. The TAHSEEN Project. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Breaking Generations of Silence TAHSEEN Project APHA Annual Meeting and ExpositionDecember 10-14, 2005Philadelphia, PA

    Shabab TAHSEEN: Innovations in BCC led by youth

  • The TAHSEEN ProjectObjectivesUSAID: Help Egypts MOHP reach its long-term goals of higher contraceptive use and replacement level fertility

    TAHSEEN: Build on past successes; fill remaining gaps; leave behind a sustainable FP/RH programThe TAHSEEN Project is the last USAID-funded family planning and reproductive health project in Egypt.

  • We Believe in a Participatory Approach to DevelopmentTransparency Shared vision with our partnersPutting the community firstResponding to local needsWorking at all levels of societyWorking with non-traditional partnersEmpowering individuals

  • TAHSEEN Integrated FP/RH Model

  • The Need for Youth-focused ProgramsTAHSEEN study revealedLack of knowledge of sexual and reproductive healthLack of communication between adults and young peopleYoung newly-weds not aware of the importance of marital sexual and reproductive health knowledge

  • AimAttract, educate and mobilize young people on sexual and reproductive healthEncourage them to share knowledge with peers, parents and community leaders as multipliers of information about reproductive health and family planning Develop youth championsLink the community to the newly-renovated clinic

  • TAHSEENs Youth-centered ActivitiesTools for youthNational youth health hotlineCompanion FP/RH website for youthUniversity peer-to-peer education programShabab TAHSEEN week in local communities

  • Youth-focused tools

    Question and answer booklets for youthSeries of booklets on Puberty for boysPuberty for girlsHygieneNutritionHow pregnancy occursFamily healthSexually transmitted diseases

  • Youth Hotline and WebsiteEfficient way to counsel and inform in a personalized manner Provide accurate FP/RH informationWidely accessiblePopular with parents & their childrenAssociated website www.shababna.org

  • 10,502 calls28,338 hits

  • Youth Peer-to-peer ProgramWorking with local universities to establish FP/RH educator groups Students trained to share accurate FP/RH information with their classmatesFirst of its kind in Egypt

  • Shabab TAHSEEN WeekActivities include:Core:Health education sessions (Puberty changes, proper nutrition, smoking and addiction, age of marriage & OBSI and FGC )Support:Community services (School beautification and tree planting, volunteerism)Sports

    Six-day behavior change communication program aimed at young people aged 14 18

  • Shabab TAHSEEN WeekIncrease reproductive and sexual health knowledge of participantsMobilize youth through behavior change communicationImprove communication between youth and their parents/eldersMinimize the gap between the community and the newly-renovated clinic

  • Involving Youth and Their Parents1,944 Shabab TAHSEEN Week participants48 concurrent seminars held for 2,190 parents

  • Evidence of Success

  • Informing Family MembersMy older sister told me that she didnt know about birth spacing before, but now she does and she wants to practice it. (14 year-old female Shabab TAHSEEN Week participant)

  • Educating PeersNinety-five percent of our information was wrong. Because of our customs and traditions we were embarrassed to talk, but I have learned to break the wall of shyness. Now I know that these are not things that contradict our religion TAHSEEN will deliver a message through the generations.

    (17 year old, female peer educator )

  • Educating PeersI convinced my mother and father not to carry out the FGC operation on my younger sister. It was very difficult but I succeeded in changing their minds.(19 year old peer educator from Minia University)

  • Spreading Health MessagesWhen I told my father about what I learnt during the STW, he decided to help me spread the messages. We planted trees in the area in front of our building and were joined by my friends. During the work we told them about all the messages.

    (13 year-old Shabab TAHSEEN Week participant)

  • Breaking with TraditionI stood up to my father when he wanted to circumcise me. I also stood up to the woman who promotes circumcision... I will not stop spreading the messages. What I do not accept for myself I should not accept for others. I believe that is true volunteerism.

    (15 year-old Shabab TAHSEEN Week participant)

  • Community SupportIn Minia Governorate, the local council officially named a street Shabab TAHSEEN Street, reflecting the community's acceptance and support for the youth program.

  • Replication and SustainabilityNational institutions (NCCM) & NGOs are taking a lead role in organizing Shabab TAHSEEN activities under their own initiativeGovernment officials and local youth committees are initiating their own Shabab TAHSEEN Weeks

  • Breaking Generations of SilenceBy informing youth and using them as advocates of change, it has indeed been possible for TAHSEEN to break generations of silence.

    This will ensure that youth have greater access to information and services and are more empowered to make informed choices to ensure their health, and the health of their future families.

  • There is a time to let things happen and a time to make things happen

  • Thank You

    Empowering individuals especially women and youth.

    Todays presentation focuses on youth. The TAHSEEN integrated family planning and reproductive health model is designed around three main areas: improving the quality of care, mobilizing the community and contributing to long-term sustainability.

    A core set of values and philosophies inform the Projects work. These include transparency, active participation of a diverse group of stakeholders in decision-making, developing a shared vision among partners, empowering individuals, putting the community first, responding to local needs, working at all levels of society, and working with non-traditional partners in health. The Project believes that a comprehensive, integrated approach to development is the most effective approach.

    Changing traditional behaviors and educating people about family planning and reproductive health is an essential component of TAHSEENs work.

    A study conducted by the project indicated that there is a lack of knowledge and lack of communication between adults and young people regarding reproductive and sexual health. This means that young people arent able to make well-informed decisions at the time of their when it is most critical.

    Not all youth have a clear understanding of the concept of reproductive health or how it relates to marital reproductive andsexual health. Hence, they may be aware of some issues but they are not necessarily well informed or convinced of their importance. Even when convinced, youth may not take the necessary action either out of embarrassment, fear of results, or lack of knowledge of where help or service can be obtained.

    Capitalizing on the fact that young people have a natural willingness to learn, and are more likely to be responsive to breaking traditionally-held silences on sensitive topics, TAHSEEN saw the benefits of creating youth-centered programs to attract, educate and mobilize young people on sexual and reproductive health, and then encourage them to share this knowledge with their peers, parents and community leaders.

    In this way the benefits are two-fold participating youth learn vital information to improve their sexual and reproductive health status, and they then disseminate this knowledge so that TAHSEEN messages eventually penetrate a wide cross-section of the community. During many STW events the participants visited the newly-renovated clinic and met staff, showing them first hand the quality of care now available in their villages.

    The youth then advocated for better clinic utilization within the community encouraging peers and parents to visit for FP/RH consultations and other medical needs.

    In response to the lack of youth-focused BCC tools, TAHSEEN developed a range of materials for a variety of settings. Three question and answer booklets were developed (15,000 copies) for parents, youth, and young adult parents based on questions raised by youth. TAHSEEN also developed seven booklets for youth (21,000copies), each on a separate topic including puberty for boys, puberty for girls, hygiene, nutrition, how pregnancy occurs, family health, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).Although TAHSEEN activities reached large numbers of youth in project governorates; there remained a need to provide a confidential source of accurate FP/RH information and to reach youth outside project governorates.

    To this end, TAHSEEN established a Youth Hotline. They are especially useful in countries such as Egypt where there are neither widespread youth-friendly services nor institutionalized school-based reproductive health education programs.

    TAHSEEN drew on this experience to establish Egypts first youth hotline and associate website (www.shababna.org). This hotline and its website have proven widely accessible to Egyptian youth.

    The confidential hotline has proven especially successful with low-literate youth who otherwise have no access to confidential information. The hotline has also proven unexpectedly popular with parents of adolescent children who are seeking FP/RH information and advice to share with their children.

    As a complement to the hotline, TAHSEEN also established a website where youth can also ask questions via email.

    The site also contains booklets produced by TAHSEEN for youth and their parents on reproductive health, general health, hygiene, and nutrition. The hotline has gathered support and interest from many youth and parents, the MOHP, NGO, and community leaders throughout Egypt.Queries from girls comprise 66% of the 39 calls averaged on a daily basis. During the initial six months of operation, the hotline responded to over 4,000 calls and more than 1,500 hits were counted on the website.

    The Project works with local universities to establish FP/RH educator groups that train university students to share accurate FP/RH information with their classmates. University officials are integral to the success of this program.

    These groups also pave the way for youth-friendly clinics.The participating youth were empowered to stand against long-practiced traditional norms and persuade others to do likewise.

    Many community mobilization activities take place during Shabab TAHSEEN Week (STW).

    Participating youth have implemented community-service projects including:repairing school deskspainting schoolscreating FP/RH postersremoving trash from around schools and planting treeslocal youth committees have organized daily presentations for youth about FP/RH and other life-skills topicsreligious leaders and medical professionals have answered FP/RH questions posed by youthlocal youth have organized visits by district-level MOHP mobile clinics in their communitiesand sporting events have been organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Shabab TAHSEEN week was designed to:

    Mobilize youth through behavior change communicationImprove communication between youth and their parents/eldersIncrease reproductive and sexual health knowledge of participants To date almost 2,000 children have participated in 68 STWs in rural upper Egypt and 3 urban communities in Cairo.

    48 concurrent seminars have been held for 2,190 parents and teachers enabling these adults to discuss FP/RH topics with youth.

    At the end of each STW, parents have been invited to attend closing-day events meant to facilitate youth-adult communication and reinforce the newfound knowledge of the youth.

    As shown in this graph, Shabab TAHSEEN Week greatly increases the knowledge of participants on reproductive health topics.

    These results of pre- and post-tests of one particular group of STW participants show significant knowledge increases relating to OBSI, appropriate age of first pregnancy, female circumcision and puberty changes.

    Shabab TAHSEEN Week has been instrumental in increasing youth knowledge about FP/RH by engaging respected community leaders and creating an open dialogue within families and communities. The community service and health education elements of Shabab TAHSEEN Week have been the first of its kind, offering youth a meaningful role in improving knowledge and access to health care within their communities.

    The Project works with local universities to establish FP/RH educator groups that train university students to share accurate FP/RH information with their classmates. University officials are integral to the success of this program.

    These groups also pave the way for youth-friendly clinics.The participating youth were empowered to stand against long-practiced traditional norms and persuade others to do likewise.

    The Project works with local universities to establish FP/RH educator groups that train university students to share accurate FP/RH information with their classmates. University officials are integral to the success of this program.

    These groups also pave the way for youth-friendly clinics.The participating youth were empowered to stand against long-practiced traditional norms and persuade others to do likewise.

    The effects are far-reaching and tangible as shown in these testimonials from STW participantsFor examplethe Minia Youth Committee implemented Shabab TAHSEEN Week (STW) in Ezbet El Omda, in Minia Governorate. The activity was entirely planned and organized by two youth committee members from rural communities. These two young people organized an event that engaged not only the youth of the hamlet but the local council and the community development association (CDA). Twenty girls and 10 boys aged 15 to 20 years old attended the weeklong event.

    Educating youth on sound FP/RH/MCH practices and building their capacity to disseminate TAHSEEN messages has a far-reaching impact.

    Facilitating youth-adult partnerships is important for adults to understand the value of involving young people in the planning and management of activities targeting youth.

    The diversity and scope of TAHSEEN youth activities have created an unprecedented dialogue on the reproductive health needs and choices faced by young people.

    Religious leaders, governors, university students, physicians, and parents are now working side by side with youth to increase FP/RH knowledge at the community level. At the same time, youth are working with clinic staff and NGOs to increase the use of newly renovated clinics and shape governorate level policies and programs.

    By informing youth and using them as advocates of change, it has indeed been possible for TAHSEEN to break generations of silence, and will go far in ensure that youth have greater access to information and services and are more empowered to make choices to ensure their health and the health of their future families.