This project is basically a youth intervention programme. It aims at sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV/AIDS prevention, increased knowledge and demand for contraception birth spacing etc. This project is being implemented in the urban slums of the Bhilwara City, and is supported by CARE-India.
The project aims to eradicate the misconceptions regarding HIV/AIDS, and to educate towards good and healthy living. Under the project, a network of youth, peer educators, parents, community heads, and doctors is prepared.
Thus, the objectives of this partnership under RACHNA were to:
- strengthen the Demonstration Sites (DS), in terms of Peer Educators (PEs), Community Stakeholders Group (CSGs) and Youth Resource Centre (YRCs); and
- create awareness among maximum number of youth, so that they can prevent themselves from RTI/STI including HIV infection.
- support the existing peer educators and nodal teachers, so that they can counsel their peers and the youth to reject the myths and misconceptions regarding RTI/STI, including HIV;
- develop an enabling environment and provide life skills education for the youth to enable them to safeguard themselves from RTI/STI, including HIV;
- strengthen the existing stakeholder groups to support positive behaviour change and address unequal power relations;
- ensure ownership and participation from the community towards activities that improve health and health services;
- strengthen the ‘Yuva Manch’;
- facilitate the capacity building of service providers in public and private sectors, with focus on counselling on HIV prevention;
- facilitate reduction of stigma and discrimination;
- develop linkages between peer educators and public and private sector service providers and gain support from community stakeholders; and
- strengthen the forum of concerned stakeholders, government counterparts and individuals, focussing on youth development, and advocate for promotion of safe sex practices and youth development at such district level platforms/forums.
The strategies for achieving these objectives were:
- ongoing capacity building of peer educators, community stakeholder groups and health service providers, to ensure promotion of adoption of responsible sexual behaviour, healthy habits among the youth;
- sharing the lessons learnt with the appropriate service providers and stakeholders of the programme area and facilitating the cross-learning for replication of the processes;
- strengthening the linkages between peer educators and public and private sector service providers and gaining support from community stakeholders;
- strengthening collective of youth and Peer Educators to support and learn from each other;
- strengthening Youth Resource Centres for further sustenance of the efforts and support knowledge dissemination on HIV/AIDS and life skills development among the youth;
- fostering linkages between the government, the private sector and communities, especially the targeted youth groups;
- identifying other groups/institutions/youth work places where youth are available in large numbers for wider spreading of messages; and
- ensuring promotion of gender equity.