TAP Healthy Youth Peer Education Program

  • Health
  • Education
  • Youth
  • Lesotho
This project is led by Rowan Quirk

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Five high school students in need of tuition aid will be sponsored with a scholarship for the 2019 second-term school session. Grantees will be chosen by a committee of teachers and community members based on financial need, merit, and behavior. Preference will be given to those with financially and emotionally unstable homes. Preference will also be given to those in the upper grades, who are too old to receive financial support from government-based sources and may be struggling to finish their last years of schooling. The community will further support this project by proving 25% of the grant money in the form of uniform and school supply donations. Grantees will participate in a healthy youth peer education program at the community clinic on a weekly basis, where they will become experts on a health topic of their choosing. Students will be expected to give presentations to their peers on their health topic at the end of the semester. Students will also participate in psychosocial support check-ins with a qualified teacher on a monthly basis. This project endeavors to build the capacity of students, teachers, and clinic staff in a sustainable and community-based format.

The school and clinic have worked together to develop a committee to oversee the planning and implementation of the peer education project. The committee consists of one teacher representative, one clinic representative, and the deputy principal of the school. The committee has worked closely with teachers, students, and the surrounding community to identify students in need of additional support, select students based on their essays, and establish a plan for the implementation of the project. In particular, the committee worked closely with people who run boarding facilities in the area. These community members are often more aware of struggling students and were able to add to the initial list of potential applicants. These members, the school, and the clinic, will also work together to provide the 25% community contribution in the form of uniforms and school supplies for TAP grantees.

The sustainability of this project relies on the school committee that has been formed to continue the mentorship program independently of monetary scholarship. The process of identifying vulnerable students and creating ties between the and an adult mentor at the school can be replicated and expanded upon as long as the school community deems it necessary. Designating a process for selection of new committee members will ensure the committee will continue to function and maintain the program.The work shadow project benefits both the students receiving the support and the clinic’s ability to implement youth friendly services. This partnership can be sustained by continuing a peer education program after school at the adolescent health corner. This will strengthen the relationship between the clinic and in-school youth, impart peer-education skills on participating students, and continue the synthesis of youth voice in the implementation of youth friendly services at the clinic

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