Connecting 4 life
May 21, 2014
People are increasingly receiving information on all sorts of issues online, and especially the youth. This provides major opportunities for the HIV response, especially when it comes to education and prevention. The connecting 4 Life program in Senegal is a scale-up of a successful pilot project that took these opportunities.
Almost one-third of the Senegal population is between 10 and 24 – the age in which most people become sexually active. However, sexuality education is very limited, which makes young people vulnerable for unwanted pregnancies, HIV or other STI's.
Knowledge and use of mobile phones and internet in general is globally on the rise, also in Senegal. The Connecting 4 Life program connects the problem of sexuality education and increasing use of internet through a successful and innovative approach. Though an online education program, young people receive information about sexuality that fit the particular needs of the social and cultural context of Senegal. Specifically, the project provides:
- An e-learning program that improves the teaching of sexuality education as well as life skills, so that young people can make informed decisions regarding sexuality.
- A mobile phone platform that provides free 'on-demand' Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV information and services through trained counsellors.
- Capacity building for youth service organisations, parents, educators, and duty bearers for advocacy on SRHR and HIV issues.
- Building a collaborative network of actors from the public, private and voluntary sector for advocacy.
This video gives an even better understanding for why it is important that young girls and boys receive sexual education via mobile phones and internet. Connecting 4 Life is funded by STOP AIDS NOW! and implemented by Oxfam Novib and its partners OneWorld UK, Butterfly Works and local partners.
This article has been published in the STOP AIDS NOW! e-news May 2014.