Link have begun the process of rolling out training for the upscaled Phase 2 of the USAID funded Peer Education Care & Support Programme in South Africa.
Link staff are conducting four sets of training camps in the four target provinces between 24th June and 15th July. In total they will visit 144 schools and train 1728 peer educators and 288 Life Orientation educators. Peer educators are selected from two age groups per school, 10-13 years and 14-19 years and are trained to implement the programme as agents of social change. They are supported by the Life Orientation educators who are trained to act as mentors. The roll out is a major milestone for LCD South Africa and key to ensuring the programme delivers as planned.
About the project: The USAID funded HIV & AIDS Peer Education Care & Support Programme seeks to build a common approach and model for implementing peer education. On the programme level the primary goals of the programme are to:
- promote healthy lifestyles among young people
- reduce adolescent risk behaviour through delaying of sexual debut and consistent condom use for those who are sexually active, and
- provide a support network for learners with psychosocial problems (such as orphans) in your schools and to link them to community resources that can assist them to deal with issues that may place them at risk of HIV.
On an implementation level the programme aims to:
- develop the support structures and the capacity of project schools to implement peer education;
- test an implementation model, and
- evaluate the effectiveness of the school-based peer education programmes in the four target provinces.
The project began as a pilot in 4 provinces (Free State, Kwa Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga and North West Province) identified for their high HIV prevalence, poverty indicators, rural make-up, and high incidences of teenage pregnancy in secondary schools. Link worked as the implementing partner, with the Academy for Education Development (AED) who oversaw the monitoring and evaluation framework. The project has since been upscaled to a three year contract in 144 schools in the same provinces, to train 2532 Peer Educators, 2532 Parents of peer educators, 492 Life Orientation Educators and 88 District Officials. It aims to develop minimum standards for all peer education activities in schools; to harmonize and sustain school-based peer education activities; to develop a repertoire of tools and processes; to keep a database of pilot schools and capture learning; and to build relationships and partnerships with local agencies to care and support affected and infected learners.