Manqoba Mthembu (AYFS Coordinator) and Nomfundo Gcina Mbatha (AYFS Peer Educator) from one of our new teams working on ‘Our Youth, Our Future’ programme. This is their latest update from Zululand where they are working throughout 2016.
“It is important to have as much information as you possibly can as a young person. It helps to hear about others’ experiences. It is very helpful to know that there is a supportive system like this within the clinic.” A.C. Zulu, Zululand
Since we started working with the staff in a health facility in Zululand they have been committed to reaching out to the young people in their community. Throughout our year-long Our Youth Our Future’ programme, our team works alongside healthcare staff, mentoring, teaching and supporting them to transform their clinic to meet Government Standards for Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services.
One step the team at the health facility has taken is to start a youth group – this not only creates an environment where young people can share their experiences, but also builds dialogue, cooperation and accountability between the clinic staff and the young people they serve.
“The youth group health care workers have assisted adolescents to overcome difficulties and help me make informed decisions.” N. Khumalo, Zululand
Supporting health workers to reach out to young people is crucial in getting young people to come to clinic and take control of decisions in their life. By building the skills of healthcare professionals on-site, in their community, enabling them to make the changes required, ensures this is sustainable and is why our approach works.
“I changed my perception about life in general, the youth is a team. My peer educator (in the clinic) shared the views that within a team everybody can have a goal to strive for. The programme of forming the youth group helps us to have more knowledge and take decisive steps towards our lives, health and future.” M. Khumalo, Zululand.
This is a key part of our programme which will help to build sustainability and successful health outcomes long after our programme.