/* FemiDevs – The Border Hub

FemiDevs

SRHR PROGRAM

ABOUT THE SRHR PROGRAM​

A program to empower the young to become a powerful force for economic development and positive change. Access to reliable and appropriate Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights information is a necessary step to securing positive life outcomes for young people and particularly Young Women and girls. Priority. We recognize health as a significant component for development, whose access enables young people to become a powerful force for economic development and positive change

Access to youth-friendly health services is a central concern surrounding the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people. A more holistic approach towards SRHR is needed as is provision of services that tackle sexual and gender-based violence, sexual diversity, discrimination, relationship issues and fears and concerns about sex and sexuality.
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In rural Busia, we notice an access gap for these services as young people complain of lack of privacy and confidentiality in hospitals, absence of non-judgemental youth -friendly spaces and community acceptance of their SRHR needs. Additionally, the proximity to the Kenya – Uganda border coupled up with poverty and unemployment that for exposed girls and young women to sexual manipulation and transactional sex by truck drivers, resulting in teenage pregnancies, school dropouts and sexually transmitted infections.
According to the ‘Sex For Pads’ story highlighted in 2017, girls from very poor backgrounds in Busia engage in transactional sex for sanitary towels. It is evident that teenage pregnancies increase when girls are denied the right to make decisions about their sexual reproductive health and well-being. It is even worse to note that same girls in rural communities are extremely vulnerable to different forms of exploitation and gender-based violence as they attempt to seek access to menstrual services, information and products.

APPROACH/STRATEGY

School clubs & Safe Spaces

We run student clubs in three rural schools in Matayos, Teso North and Teso south Subcounties of Busia Count through which we provide a safe space for girls to learn new things such a negotiation skills, menstrual hygiene management and the dangers of teenage pregnancies and child marriage. We also use this space for peer-peer and peer-mentor sharing on SRHR issues.

Through our trained SRH advocates in partnership with Alupe university and with support from Collaborative Centre for Gender Development, we provide the three schools with menstrual products and dignity kits every month to enhance positive educational outcomes that would otherwise be curtailed by lack of the SRHR products.

Annual Girls Convention.

Annually, we host the Busia County girls summit bringing together our pool of mentors, advocates and the girls, to celebrate the milestones and identify gaps and opportunities that inform our programming strategy for the next year. We employ the use of T-boxes (talking boxes) to encourage more girls to share their concerns in confidentiality without fear.
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Youth Dialogues

Leveraging the safe space at the Hub

We hold periodic dialogue sessions both virtual and physically to engage young people continuously and meaningfully on emerging issues that affect them such as SRHR, bringing together communities, peers, subject experts, county government officials and other stakeholders.

Young people use the platform to develop practical solutions that inform interventions as well as influencing priorities such as the need for youth friendly policies and an increment in budgetary allocation in the department of health targeting youth friendly health centers.

SRHR Advocates Training for Sustainability

Furthermore-this program trains young people to be Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights advocates in the community for sustained engagement on the subject matter.
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Some of the activities under this program include:

1. Vijana Open Field SRH Clinics: We conduct Open Contraceptives Day for adolescent girls and young people to increase their access to information on contraceptives for girls and young women. This is part of our strategy to enhance information uptake in the community.

2. Community and institutional outreach: This is done periodically with our communities to enable them to engage freely and openly on conversations relating to SRHR and other issues that are still viewed as taboos.