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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeHealthMobile Outreach Program Brings SRHR Services to Vulnerable Community

Mobile Outreach Program Brings SRHR Services to Vulnerable Community

Southlea Park, a bustling community on the outskirts of Harare, came alive with hope and empowerment as The Hope for Adolescents and Youth, in collaboration with the Adult Rape Clinic, Population Services Zimbabwe, and the National AIDS and Restless Development Zimbabwe, embarked on a transformative mobile outreach program.

The program aimed to reach out to the marginalized and vulnerable groups in Southlea Park, especially women and girls who face multiple challenges such as poverty, gender-based violence, early marriage, teenage pregnancy and lack of education.

The program also targeted young men and boys who play a crucial role in supporting SRHR.

Tatenda Wachenuka, the Managing Director of The Hope for Adolescents and Youth said that the program was well-received by the participants who expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the services and information they received.

“Adolescent Girls and Young Women’s access to SRHR-tailored services that respond to their practical needs remains at the epicentre of the work that HOPE conducts. However, as an organization, we are aware that a holistic approach aids us in cultivating lasting change; hence today, we have various service providers offering information and services to AGYWs,” she said.

The mobile outreach program aimed not only to provide essential services but also to tackle the pervasive stigma surrounding SRHR.

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Chrystal Bonzo, Her Voice Fund Ambassador for Zimbabwe, shed light on the community’s unique challenges: “This is a densely populated area where a lot of marginalized people stay and lack SRHR services. So we are offering these for free today. There is a lot of stigma when it comes to accessing SRHR services.”

The HER Voice Fund is implemented by the Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Global), with support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) and ViiV Healthcare Positive Action, to strengthen the meaningful engagement and leadership of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in decision-making spaces to reduce HIV incidence and improve our broader health, wellbeing and rights.

To combat this stigma, the organizers employed a multifaceted approach that combined education and entertainment.

Bonzo explained, “So we combined edutainment using roadshows and music and interactive demonstrations on what SRHR is and how to access and use them. We are educating young people, young mothers, women, girls, and the entire community on the importance of accessing SRHR services for preserving their lives, and we hope we do away with the stigma that comes with accessing SRHR services.”

The program featured a wide array of services and resources, including free family planning consultations, HIV testing and counselling, educational workshops on contraception, and comprehensive sex education sessions tailored to the needs of different age groups.

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Local health professionals and educators collaborated with volunteers to ensure that everyone received personalized attention and support.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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