Thandizani Youth Resource Centre provides HIV/AIDS, Peer Counseling, VCT and other Reproductive Health Programmes to the 5,520 youths in Lundazi’s urban catchment areas. The programme targets youths in and out of schools. Thandizani works with school administrations in forming school Anti-Aids clubs and for out of school youths, peer support groups are formed. Prevention messages are communicated through different mediums such as plays, poems, dances and sports for life. The resource centre provides indoor games (pool, chess and table tennis). Thandizani also engages the youths in outdoor sporting activities within their communities by conducting an annual soccer league for various community youth groups to compete in.
Achievements in 2006:
The programme reached out to 20 communities on youth sensitization and 488 (179 male and 309 female) youths have benefitted from the youth friendly corner sensitization meetings. 6 youth friendly corners have been established in the 6 chief areas reaching out to 315 (111 male and 124 female) youths accessing youth to youth counseling and information on reproductive health Conducted football and netball tournaments and 1,447 (809 male and 638 female) youths reached with information on prevention within the township Facilitated Focus Group Discussion in 10 communities (two different places in each) namely, Mphamba, Phikamalaza, Zumwanda, Kapichila and Mwase Chiefdoms Hosted inter-school HIV/AIDS quiz and debate for primary and secondary schools during 2006 World AIDS Day and 224 (132 male and 92 female) youths from the 6 schools within the township of Lundazi The indoor games (e.g. pool, chess and table tennis) played during youth friendly promotion activities at the resources have attracted 285 (153 male and 132 female) youths to access counseling services.
VIOLET ONCE PROMISCUOUS BUT NOW BACK AT SCHOOL
The experience of Violet is one success story. Violet lost her mother at the age of 13 and never knew who her father was. After the mother’s death, she cohabited with Mary, her teenage friend for 4 years. During her stay with Mary 9a fellow orphan), she joined a bad company of girls who hung out with “sugar daddies” and abused alcohol. Through this behaviour Violet contracted syphilis which was treated in January 2006. Violet visited a VCT sensitization drama performance by Tigone (one of Thandizani’s community youth groups) in William compound. The play pointed out that people who have ever suffered from an STI are more likely to contract HIV/AIDS and need to undergo VCT. This made Violet decide to seek counseling. She was counseled and tested HIV negative. The test results made Violet detach herself from such a bad company and she decided to look for her father and go back to school. In her investigation, Violet managed to get hold of her uncle living in Dunda village. Her father had died and so her uncle took her in and enrolled her in school. She’s now in high school doing her 11th grade. She is now practicing abstinence.
Thandizani Community Based HIV/AIDS Prevention & Care, Lundazi - Zambia