and the importance of communication
In the picture Sofia, from Tampere University, keeping an awareness session for the girls. She also did research for her masters in Sociology on how children relate to poverty.
In Tanzania an alarming number of 72 girls/per day get infected by HIV (Source: Ministry of Work Youth and Employment). There are 25 regions in Tanzania and Mwanza is classified as 4 according to rates of infection. (The classes go from 0-11 with 1 as the highest rate) This means Mwanza is a high risk region.
Girls in high risk are those who have dropped out from school, adolecsents, who are doing labor work; in general girls living in poor and marginalized conditions.
That is why it is so important to empower the girls, give them confidence, knowledge on women rights and reproductive health. The awareness sessions are combined with creative and physical activities and notepads are used to lower the threshold to communicate difficult things. Also, among the parents, awareness is raised in sessions for good parenting. The next to be included in the program are boys and young men. The responsibility should not be on the girls only.
Through the football sessions NIHEP has noticed girls/young women with leader skills and they will be trained to become responsible for their own groups under supervision of NIHEP staff. It is like rings on water and an effective way to spread awareness and knowledge.
Another way of reducing risks are giving the girls alternatives to secondary school, like accessible vocational training. This is what we will work on in a near future.