for Young People in Zimbabwe
Name and Location:
for Young People in Zimbabwe, a national programme.
some cultural beliefs and practices violate children's and young
people's rights and there is inadequate participation of young
people in decisions that affect their lives. Discussions on sexuality
and "growing up" remain taboo at all levels and as a result, healthy
sexual practices are uncommon. In addition, there are weak linkages
between information, knowledge and provision of services and an
absence of youth friendly policies and services. There is lack
of access to education, as well as retention and equity, and 50%
of school-aged children remain at home in commercial farming areas.
The HIV infection rate is rising among youth (15-29). Over 1,000
people die every week due to HIV/AIDS. 30% of pregnant women are
HIV+ and 44% of 19 year-old-women are either mothers or pregnant.
By the year 2005 there will be more than 910,000 AIDS orphans.
Line Ministries of Health, Education and Culture, National Affairs
and Co-operatives, Information and Telecommunications, Labour
and Social Welfare, Local Government, Municipalities, Non-governmental
organisations, Community based organisations; AIDS service Associations,
Youth Groups and Religious Organisations.
Partner: National AIDS Co-ordination Programme (NACP).
UN Sister agencies
Source(s) and Overall Budget (US$) 1995-1999:
Contribute towards reduction of High Risk Adolescent behaviour
and foster a supportive environment for people with AIDS (PWAs)
Facilitate/support orphan care community initiatives
Contribute to reduction of Mother-to-Child HIV transmission
Facilitate psychosocial life skills education projects for in
and out-of-school youth
STI/HIV knowledge, promote safe sex practices and STI treatment
seeking behaviour amongst vulnerable groups
Improve capacity for community, NGOs and CBOs response to HIV/AIDS
prevention and promote PWAs community based activities
Facilitate/support provision of youth friendly services
Advocate for policies and laws to promote development of young
people and protect their rights
of this project are children, adolescents and youth in and out
of school aged between 7 to 18 years, pregnant women and their
partners (MTCT). Both male and female children, adolescents and
youth participate in the projects through lifeskills and HIV/AIDS
education in the classroom, youth clubs/action teams or as peer
educators in programmes initiated by local NGOs, municipalities,
church groups, decentralised government departments, community
HIV/AIDS prevention programmes, among others. Health professionals,
schoolteachers, members of NGOs/CBOs/religious groups and members
of the community participate at varying degrees to facilitate
meeting the health and development needs of the adolescents and
Life skills education for in-school youth
Life skills, peer education for out-of-school youth
High risk behaviour focus groups
Community mobilisation and outreach using Triple A (a participatory
methodology that facilitates community involvement in problem
assessment, analysis and taking action to improve
Community Outreach/NGO support and capacity building
Community initiatives in support of orphans · Reduction of MTCT
(Mother to child transmission) of HIV
Behaviour change and behaviour development strategies for action
· Advocacy and social mobilisation for supportive policies -
orphans and youth
Promotion of Youth Friendly Services · Operational research,
monitoring and evaluation
Life skills AIDS education introduced in primary, secondary
and tertiary curricula
education approach used for promotion of positive behaviours
amongst youth and vulnerable groups
Formal and informal communication methods used for AIDS education
and life skills development
Support to the establishment of Youth Friendly Services initiated
in 1998, e.g. youth corners
Formative research on youth health and development needs
Knowledge based programming techniques applied
have adolescent boys and girls been involved in the project? In
what stages have they been involved - situation assessment, situation
analysis, planning, implementation, monitoring, and/or evaluation?
Although their participation is still low, UNICEF and its partners
are increasingly facilitating the active involvement of adolescents
and youth in projects that aim to address their health and development
needs through the Triple A process of community involvement
in problem assessment, analysis and taking action to solve identified
problems. Some of the specific cases are stated below:
As part of the development of the Situation Assessment and
Analysis of Children and Women in preparation for the 2000-2004
Government of Zimbabwe/ UNICEF country programme, about
150 adolescents and youth from all over the country (aged
10 to 18), gathered at a youth consultative forum in April
1998 to participate in a needs assessment exercise with
the view to inform a Child Rights Programming Approach.
Young people from various settings (urban, peri-urban, rural,
farm, mining, church) aged between 14-24 years, were identified
from seven provinces and participated in the planning, data
collection, analysis and validation processes of a formative
study to determine health and development needs of out of
school young people. Young people will be involved in advocating
decision-makers to facilitate meeting identified needs.
Young people educate their peers within and outside their
action teams/clubs. In cases where youth friendly health
and social services are being provided, young people working
closely with youth friendly personnel are responsible for
the youth centres or youth corners (in the case of clinics/hospitals)
where they provide, information, education and refer peers
for treatment of, for example, STDs.
Presently more than 150 out-of-school youth action clubs
with membership ranging from 10 to 50 have been identified
in 6 provinces. A study has been commissioned to determine
the number of HIV/AIDS prevention clubs for adolescents
and youth in school. Youth-led initiatives for HIV/AIDS
prevention and care are mushrooming throughout the country.
While a few youths have benefited to date, plans are underway
to conduct comprehensive training of more youth in managing
their own projects.
However, girls remain less actively involved in youth activities
in most cases as a result of socio-cultural norms that dictate
that they should be confined in the home. A conscious effort
is being made through youth facilitators to get more girls involved
in these projects.
influence has their involvement had on the project?
Generally, the participation of young people has seen the project
begin to achieve its goals, particularly among themselves as
a target group.More
Peer education and youth festivals among other activities by
youth for youth have attracted more adolescents and youth to
appreciate and participate actively in youth-led HIV/AIDS interventions.
This is evidenced by the mushrooming of youth action teams/clubs
within a short period of time and the numerous requests for
information and education materials made by the young people.
In summary, high demand is being created and action is underway.
Young people are beginning to lobby local authorities to support
activities and provision of services aimed at promoting their
health and development, albeit currently in isolated cases.
Government officials, NGO leaders, private sector, community
based organisations, religious groups, community leaders and
media are increasingly beginning to appreciate the need for
and support the provision of youth friendly services.
the adolescent girls and boys involved in the project been affected
are not currently available to indicate the numbers:
More of the young participants have gained in-depth information,
education and life skills which have enabled this group to become
more assertive, communicate better and make informed decisions
about their health and sexuality. They know how to access services
to promote their health and development . They now have greater
understanding and skills to avoid situations that put them at
risk of contracting HIV/AIDS/STDs for example. They report that
they are prepared to postpone sex until they get married.
Young people have also benefited from life skills training programmes.
They report that they are more confident of themselves, and
feel that they can be in control of their own destiny.
been the achievements of this project to date?
HIV/AIDS has been recognised as a threatening problem by the
government and political leaders, members of the community as
well as adolescents and youth. Despite this commitment, action
has not been translated into resource allocation for HIV/AIDS
Increased provincial, district and community participation to
fight the epidemic through Provincial Governors, Provincial/
District Medical Directorates, NGOs/CBOs/religious groups, community
leaders and adolescents and youth.
A National Policy for AIDS prevention and care has been formulated
and a strategy for the implementation is ongoing
A National Policy for orphans has been formulated and endorsed
A National Youth Policy is in its early stage of formulation
and young people's participation is increasingly being sought.
Government commitment to work towards MTCT reduction - AZT drugs
ordered and training in Voluntary and Confidential Counselling
and Testing (VCCT) ongoing · Child welfare forum/child abuse
clinics/victim friendly courts and units within the police established
· HIV/AIDS awareness level is high among the population - over
90%. However, the adoption of positive behaviours has been scanty.
and skills developed for AIDS education transferred to community
based cadres and mobilisers
built and strengthened with GoZ, NGOs, CBOs at all levels
Collaboration with UNAIDS co-sponsors and donor community strengthened
a formal evaluation been performed? Please elaborate.
Learned/Recommendations/What would you do differently if you could
do it over?
and lobby for Government and political commitment from an early
stage. This is critical for halting the AIDS epidemic.
Consultations with key players and involvement of young people
in programming and implementation are crucial
and knowledge alone will not facilitate adoption of positive
sexual behaviours. Services and a conducive environment remain
model Teacher Training is not totally effective
of the role of the family unit, e.g. parents/caregivers halting
the AIDS epidemic is crucial
findings must be used for advocacy and social mobilisation
and ownership of interventions can be enhanced by improved target
support tools/resources were developed that can be used/adapted
by other country offices?
skills education for HIV/AIDS prevention books were developed
for youth in school from primary education (Grade 4) to secondary
education (Form 5)
skills education magazines have also been developed for youth
out of school in English and vernacular languages such as "Body
Talk" series, "Straight Talk" and "New Generation" newspapers
targeting adolescents and youth.
books include "Facts About AIDS", "Living with HIV/AIDS", "AIDS
Questions and Answers"
of media through newspapers and magazines
outreach programmes through mobile cinema. Videos produced
and shown include Let the Children Talk; No Need to Blame;
Facts About AIDS; Mashambanzou (Dawn of a new day); and
Nherera Ndedzedu (Orphans belong to us)
and Television programmes
promotional educational materials such as t-shirts, caps, posters,
pamphlets with HIV/AIDS prevention messages have also been developed.
Adolescents and Youth peer educators in Gweru speaking on
youth participation say, "ALL WITH US, OR NOTHING WITHOUT US".
of Information: Micaela Marques Project Officer UNICEF - Zimbabwe