Life skills empower young women and girls
We are so excited that the Blue Cross life skills project in Chad is growing! 2013-2015 was a learning phase, in which the staff and team built the project from ground up, implementing a new kind of prevention activity in the schools and community. Through the baseline study we are able to evaluate the way forward for the development and expansion of life skills to more schools, empowering additional youth to lead a drug and alcohol free life for a population that “does not need alcohol to be deficient,” according to African scholar J. Richard-Molard.
During the last few months, Blue Cross Chad has placed an emphasis on organizing community activities like information meetings in the schools and awareness activities for parents. They used a forum theatre and a radio show to promote the awareness campaigns and spread messages about alcohol and drug-related harm throughout the community. In addition to community awareness, after-school activity clubs and play an important role in the life skills program, empowering youth to engage in meaningful activities in their communities after school hours, where alcohol is readily available! Here’s what some of the club members told us:
“My name is M. D. I'm 21, I'm a girl student in 2nd class, I am the treasurer of the club CVC High School concord. CBT's (Blue Cross Chad) activities have really changed my life. Myself before I drank alcohol. Since I participate in events and I received the information from the CBT on the dangers of alcohol, I also stopped drinking alcohol. Compared to STIs and HIV / AIDS, I was touched by the testimony of the young HIV positive who came to do when we met at the Don Bosco centre. I realized, I did my testing and I decided not to have more partners. I always use a condom with my partner and I ask my friend (s) to do the same.”
“My name is F. G. F. I'm 21 years old. I was a shy boy, but Blue Cross makes me a boy who now stands before others and speak without fear. I became able to spread the message about the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and STIs and HIV / AIDS in the club of my institution. The girls were not interested in our activities. We have really motivated and now we have three girls who are members of the club office and I am very proud for that. Me personally I had sensitized at least 20 young girls and boys. We encounter many difficulties when we approach them. Some reject us other insult us, but we persist. Those that were aware, some come back to thank us because they are released from these things and others not. Many are those who appreciate the work we do so in return I also thank the CBT.”
Last year Blue Cross Chad reached a total number of 22,059 students with life skills lessons across 15 schools, almost twice the number in 2014, and trained more than 80 new peer educators to lead life skills lessons in the high schools. In addition, Blue Cross Chad increased its outreach to 106 events in 12 sites (6 in 2014) among motorcycle taxi drivers. As we look forward to a new 4-year phase for the project, we are confident that with your support, the project will continue to grow and thrive. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Life skills lessons in the classroom