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Page added on July 4, 2012
On 5th July 2012, 135 Restless Development-trained volunteers will officially complete their placements at a certification ceremony to be held in Bo. Over the last 8 months the volunteers, aged 18-28, have been living and working in rural communities across the country implementing a programme of non-formal peer-to-peer education. The ‘Youth Empowerment Programme’ as it is known focuses on sexual and reproductive health education and life skills with smaller components of livelihoods and civic participation and is aimed at promoting positive behavioural change among young people so that they take more responsibility for their sexual and reproductive health. The programme reaches around 100,000 young people both in school and out of school every week.
Launched in Sierra Leone in 2005, the Youth Empowerment Programme has proven very effective in transforming the knowledge and behaviour of young people with respect to their sexual and reproductive health. In the communities where volunteers work, typical results after three years of the intervention would be a 20-30% increase in young people seeking treatment for STIs, a 10-15% increase in abstinence and a 20-30% increase in contraceptive use.
A key date in the Restless Development calendar, the certification ceremony is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the volunteers. This year’s event is expected to be attended by dignitaries from the Department for International Development (DFID), the Ministry of Youth Employment and Sports, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Marie Stopes Sierra Leone, the National Aids Secretariat, other partner organisations as well as leaders from the communities where the interventions have been taking place.
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