Health[e]Living in Uganda: Second group passed, third group started

After three months of e-learning we were excited to meet again with the group of 35 community workers and educators, who started their Health[e]Living journey with us in Uganda last December. The follow-up workshop took place at the TASO Kanyanya Training Center in Kampala. There were many stories to tell, photos and videos to show and experiences to share. The workshop had many inspiring presentations by local experts such as Lynda Nakalawa and Annet Nakaganda, who shared their knowledge on topics such as sex and gender, the healthy (changing) adolescent body and safe sex.

The participants themselves presented the activities they had practiced with adolescents in the field during the e-learning period, a requirement for certification of the Health[e]Living course. The kick-off in December had inspired the participants to reach out to more than 3500 adolescents in their communities. This is with an average outreach of 100 youngsters per participant, many more than required for receiving a certificate, showing how motivated this group was to make a difference in their communities.

Following the follow-up workshop, we started with a third group of 33 participants from several organizations in Uganda such as The Aids Support Organisation (TASO), HOCDA and Dynamic Health. The new participants received a tablet and toolkit which they will use to study the Health[e]Living modules and facilitate the corresponding activities with adolescents in their communities. Guest speakers Dr. Sabrina Bakeera Kitaka, Lynda Nakalawa and Laira Kyakzike introduced the participants to some of the topics with presentations on substance misuse and addiction among adolescents in Uganda, child protection, prevention of HIV and the importance of healthy nutrition for young people.

This time Virginie Domsdorf, a master student from the Netherlands, joined our team. For her research project on the impact of the Health[e]Living program on adolescents, she stayed in Uganda in May and June. Results of this evaluation will be presented in the next newsletter.

We wish all current participants good luck studying the modules and facilitating activities with the youth and hope that all former Health[e]Living trainees will keep reaching out to their communities!