UNESCO launches HIV / AIDS family life education in Kaduna

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched its Family Life Education Program on HIV / AIDS (FLHE) in Kaduna State on Monday.

The program will be implemented as part of UNESCO’s Our Rights, Our Lives and Our Future program, said implementing partner Ms. Hadiza Umar.

Umar, executive director of Hope for the Community and Children Initiative (H4CC), said at the inaugural meeting in Kaduna that the program will reach 101,000 adolescents and young people in the state.

She said the program targets in-school and out-of-school adolescents as well as young people, who make up the dynamic population, as survivors or perpetrators of sexual violence.

“They have a low level of knowledge about sexual and reproductive health, largely because of cultural or social norms and religious ideologies.

“There are also many gaps between parents and children, teachers and learners, as well as negative peer pressure and the influence of drugs, among others.

“The program is therefore designed to give the target group basic knowledge about family life, life skills and what is HIV and AIDS.

“They will also be educated on the risks involved, how they can protect themselves and resist negative peer pressure,” she said.

Umar explained that the school-based strategy would be implemented by 150 teachers who would reach 1,000 learners by the end of the program.

According to her, the extracurricular strategy will be implemented by 50 corps members who will be trained, adding that each corps member will engage 50 peer educators in the communities.

She explained that at the end of the program, community volunteers would reach 100,000 peers in their respective communities with key messages on sexual and reproductive health (SRH).

The second implementing partner, Mr. Falana Martin-Mary, Executive Director of the Kids and Teens Resource Center, noted that young people in Kaduna State face SRH issues.

“Many have unplanned pregnancies, others engage in unsafe abortions, multiple sex and drug addiction, among other problems.

“It is worrying and requires urgent attention.

“We are therefore working with UNESCO and the Swedish government to involve all stakeholders, in order to protect the lives of children in Kaduna State.

“The program will use the power of young people to influence their peers, as those who are trained will be a body of enlightenment among their peers,” said Martin-Mary.

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