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