On the 11th march 2016, SFH staff in partnership with Royal TV conducted a community outreach activity in Riviera High School on Sexual reproductive health. The community outreach event was graced by authorities at the school and Cyrus Ntaganira (SFH Staff). For different reasons, sexual reproductive talk among teenage students or young people are still a taboo especially in most African cultures which held or still hold such issues traditionally unacceptable for discussions with people considered below age; a stereotype worth dealing with.
It is on such grounds that SFH through its community outreach activities conducted SRH talk to students of Riviera High School. Although Rwanda has made tremendous progress on such issues, many young people or else even their parents are still shy to discuss sexuality education.
In result, unwanted pregnancies have for the last years been increasing in adolescents in schools and of course with their dire consequences due to lack of open talk on sexual and reproductive health; a trend that SFH Rwanda intends to undo through behavior change communications and other approaches. Some of the approaches explained to a multitude of students during this exercise in Riviera school included but not limited to the application and adherence to the ABC concept (Abstinence, Being Faithful to Partners, and Using Condoms).
Figure 1: Riviera High School students paying attention to a sketch on how HIV spreads from one person to another much easily and faster.
During this outreach session, students were engaged in a participatory and interactive approach on the ABC concept and on average, students between ages 14 to 19 testified to the fact that they had very limited knowledge on how HIV can be contracted and transmitted as well as its preventive measures.
The primary objective of this outreach activity was to ensure that students understand that HIV exists and that the consequences of failing to heed the lessons in the ABC concept would be regrettable.
Figure 2: Students performing a pre-test quiz on HIV knowledge & awareness.
SFH Rwanda in partnership with Royal TV play a leading role in community outreach activities geared towards sensitizing students on sexual and reproductive health. However, there is need for concerted efforts of all stakeholders to increase behavior change communication activities.