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 Health  Namibia Project #14718

Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students

by International Blue Cross
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Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
Life Skills and Peer Education for 14,000 students
169th parade in the city of Blumenau, Brazil
169th parade in the city of Blumenau, Brazil

At the Blue Cross Brazil numerous very exciting activities took place in September among the Kids support groups.

We would like to share some of them with you:  

  • On 2 September 2019, the 169th parade took place celebrating the foundation of the city of Blumenau. The Blue Cross participated and walked through the city with banners. The children and adults had a lot of fun. (Photo 1)
  • In the week from 9th to 15th September the topic "Emotions" was discussed in the kids support groups. The children watched a film together and then talked about their feelings. This serves as an exercise for children to learn to perceive and share their emotions. (Photo 2)
  • The children took part in a theme day at the end of September. The children were made aware of the danger of cigarettes in a playful way. A "mysterious" box served as entertainment. (Photo 3)

 

Thank you very much for your support in making such activities possible for children in Brazil! 

Project "Kids and Emotions"
Project "Kids and Emotions"
Kids day with the topic "Danger of Cigarettes"
Kids day with the topic "Danger of Cigarettes"
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Peer Educators Training
Peer Educators Training

Dear Project Supporters,

We have the pleasure to inform you that after 6 years of financial support the International Federation of the Blue Cross is handing over the Namibian Schools Awareness Creation Project (SACP) to the Blue Cross of Namibia. SACP will henceforth fly on its own wings. Thanks to the excellent work of the past 6 years, the Blue Cross of Namibia is a driving force for life skills education in Windhoek high schools and is a collaborating partner of the Ministry of Education and Health. We wish the Blue Cross Namibia well and we thank each of you for your support through Global Giving or otherwise during the past years!

Looking back fills us with pride: this project started as a pilot in 3 schools in the year 2009. At the end of 2014 this programme was implemented successfully in 30 schools of the capital city of Windhoek, namely 15 primary and 15 high schools totalling a number of more than 23,000 learners. During the same year the programme delivered more than 1,200 life skills lessons as part of the regular school curriculum: life skills are a school subject in Namibia now and the Blue Cross was mandated to deliver life skills sessions specifically on the subject of alcohol and drugs. This is a great example of best practice on how schools and NGOs can collaborate to strengthen education opportunities for youth!

According to Nolty, the coordinator of SACP, “Our Blue Cross field workers have weekly consultations with their respective principals and/or head life skills teacher. This is very useful in monitoring the progress and impact of the project at that school. Principals and teachers usually use this meeting to show their appreciation. The principals have been very supportive in number of ways, like by providing transport to learners for special events organized by the Blue Cross.” Part of the Blue Cross involvement at school level includes the provision of counselling and referral services for alcohol and drug-affected youth. 3 Blue Cross field workers were trained to become volunteer counsellors and provide this service for learners in a discreet and professional manner.

During 2014, camps were organized to train field workers and peer educators. Peer group leaders and field workers then kept the alternative activity clubs running. The groups have gained much momentum and publicity at schools. They offer leisure activities such as soccer, chess, volleyball, visual arts and dancing. 3-4 alternative activity clubs were held in each school once a week in the afternoon after closure of regular school hours at 2 pm, reaching more than 1,000 students per week. Together with the field and school counselors, each club defined an objective for the year in the field of community involvement (i.e. football tournament, performing at a rally, chess tournaments, arts days, poster competitions etc.). These objectives were reached by 80% of the clubs.

In terms of impact, Blue Cross Namibia has been able to create an unprecedented movement of mass awareness and sensitization to alcohol and drugs in Windhoek – especially within the high school population but also far beyond. Among the key achievements are the following:

  • The topic of “addiction/alcohol and drug consumption” has been mainstreamed into the life skills classes in public high schools in Namibia.
  • In a recent anonymous survey conducted by the project 69% of learners indicated that they would use the information provided through the project to live an alcohol free life. This is an indication of the enthusiasm caused by the programme as well as to an increased level of awareness among the students.
  • The project has fostered positive change in the school environment as beneficiaries are encour­aged and feel more supported to live alcohol and drug free lifestyles. Students also report proudly a sense of belonging to their “alcohol free school”. This common identity might have the potential to strengthen many young people in their lifestyle and health choices.

We would now like to hand over the floor to the head teacher of Immanuel Shifidi High School: “This programme is great. We are in a neighbourhood where drugs are real, people sell drugs right across the street, some of the children’s parents are involved in the trade and many would like to see the school as a “market”. The programme has been a serious eye opener to the children. Blue Cross is discussing real issues.  When they brought a person that had just come out of jail due to drugs the children were struck! They were quiet as they were interested in this live story. The programme has made dealing with the subject more open and less of a taboo.

Based on the success and the lessons learnt in Namibia, the International Blue Cross is currently replicating similar life skills programme in Chad, the Republic of Congo… and in Sweden! We are proud to inform you that the Blue Ribbon of Sweden travelled to Windhoek in February 2015 to learn from the Blue Cross Namibia in order to replicate a similar project in Sweden.

IFBC counts on your continued support. Please also visit our life skills project in Chad on Global Giving!

Kind regards,

Madeleine

Primary School Outreach
Primary School Outreach
Swedish Blue Ribbon visits Blue Cross Namibia
Swedish Blue Ribbon visits Blue Cross Namibia
After-school Activity Clubs
After-school Activity Clubs

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“I had a miserable life, which was filled with negativity and I suffered from low self-esteem. I drank alcohol and smoke marijuana in order to forget about my trouble. I was part of a gang and got in trouble every weekend. Blue Cross Namibia made me realize that I can live a life without alcohol and drugs. I was touched by Leoba Bono’s motivational speech, who is the field worker at our school. I thank Blue Cross a lot for happy life I live now!”

These are the words of Johannes, an 18 year-old student participating in the Life Skills project in Namibia. He is one voice among 14,000 students that are learning skills like leadership and self-confidence. A Peer Educator tells us “It is so amazing when the learners walks up to us and say thank you for motivating me. Not only do we concentrate on creating awareness on the dangers of alcohol and drugs but we also look at the holistic approach of a learner.”

Good news: YOU can change these children's lives too! Use Global Giving’s fundraiser page to pledge your birthday, organize a bake sale or any other creative idea you can think of – it’s easy! Visit IFBC’s project page at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/reduce-alcohol-related-harm/ and click on the “Fundraiser” button under the donate tab to get creative and start today!

Thank you for making a difference in helping us equip these students with the skills and knowledge to live a happy, healthy life! 

With gratitude,

Mischa Rychener, Fundraising Officer IFBC

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Prevention project at SOS Children's home
Prevention project at SOS Children's home

Dear project supporter,

Our experience working with youth in Windhoek strongly indicates that substance abuse by teenagers is increasing in Namibia. However, the absence of valid and reliable data in this specific field makes it difficult to justify interventions and to develop adequate programmes. This is why the International Blue Cross, together with the Government of Finland, decided to finance a national research project on adolescent substance use.

Under the lead of the Namibian Ministry of Health the “European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs” (ESPAD) was, for the first time, adapted to a non-European context. The most important objective of this research programme was to collect comparable data on substance abuse among 15-16 year old students in order to monitor trends and to compare data between countries. Under the first “African School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs” (ASPAD) ever, the Namibian Ministry of Health, with support from Finnish ESPAD experts, was able to train its regional social workers and gather 6200 questionnaires from all regions of the country. It is expected that the results of the first “African School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs” (ASPAD) will be published in early 2015.

The outcome of the survey will feed into the national alcohol policy process while at the same time helping to design new prevention strategies based on current realities. The Blue Cross is implementing organization with a mandate that goes beyond promoting good policies: we want to help the countries to practicallyimplement these policies. And this is what Blue Cross Namibia does with its School Awareness Creation Project (SACP). ASPAD will help SACP to sharpen its understanding of addiction and its root causes. It will help the programme to increase the efficiency of its interventions, and last but not least, it will help us to look beyond the capital city to design future strategies for the implementation of school awareness campaigns in other areas of the country, that are especially affected by teenage substance abuse.

The Blue Cross of Namibia and the International Blue Cross would like to seize this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for a healthy New Year!  A warm thank you for the support which you have extended to the students of Windhoek high schools during the past year.

Kind regards,

Madeleine Bolliger, Project Officer

ASPAD Team with Renee Adams, Ministry of Health
ASPAD Team with Renee Adams, Ministry of Health

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The dynamic team of Blue Cross Namibia peer educators recently visited Elim primary school to spread the word about the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol. 

As much as we may not like it, the truth is that many kids and teens try alcohol during their high school years, long before they are of legal age. Research has shown that nearly 80% of high school kids have tried alcohol so it's important to start discussing alcohol use and abuse with children at an early age. This is why, in addition to its life skills programs in local high schools, Blue Cross Namibia reaches out to primary school children to begin passing messages before they reach the sensitive pre-teen and teenage years, where drugs and alcohol and the peer-pressure to try them is more prevalent.

Students at Elim primary school gave their full attention and participated in an exciting morning of active awareness! One of the peer educators told us, "we had an awesome time with these kids," which leads to the first step in prevention: showing children at a young age that you can have lots of fun without alcohol and drugs!

 

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Organization Information

International Blue Cross

Location: Bern - Switzerland
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BlueCrossTweets
Project Leader:
Anne Babb
Bern, Bern Switzerland

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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