Apprendre a Vivre / Learning About Living Senegal
Giving access to accurate information regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights
Project start date : 01/01/2011
Beneficiary country : Senegal
About the project
OneWorld has been working in Senegal to implement a “Learning about Living Program” since 2011, working in conjunction with a group of local and international NGOs, private telecom operators as well as the government. Some of the partners include, Groupe d’Etude et d’Education à la Population (GEEP), Réseau d’Appui aux Initiatives de Développement, Réseau Africain pour l’Education et la Santé (RAES), Salaam-Sattaar, Division Médicale Scolaire du Ministère de l’Education nationale, Projet de Promotion des Jeunes, and ENDA GRAF SAHEL.
With this consortium, OneWorld has developed “Learning about Living”, or “Apprendre à Vivre, Senegal” – which comprises the ClickInfoAdo, Bip Info Ado and a radio program run through OneWorld’s partners, RAES, in Dakar and Mbour which has been offered in Senegal over a period of 8 years. The program was designed to use ICTs to provide information and life skills to foster behavior change and improve reproductive health outcomes among young people. It seeks to achieve this through reducing high risk behavior which may lead to HIV or other STIs, unplanned pregnancies, complications from unsafe abortions and maternal mortality. By empowering young people to get SRH information in a safe and free space which digital tools provide, and by promoting positive alternatives to societal norms, the program sought to address some of the most important challenges facing adolescents in Senegal using innovative technologies. An eLearning curriculum called Click InfoAdo was adapted from an approved curriculum and is available both offline (installed on computers using flash drives) and online, and was designed for use in schools and youth centers to reach both in and out-of-school youth to aid educators and youth in comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education.
Components of the program include utilizing soap opera type form of bringing content to life via (1) lessons on a range of SHRH themes including interactive and educative games and engaging exercises (2) a confidential question and answer service available on the website, Facebook private messaging and via SMS through a free short code 2100 (3) guides for teachers including discussion guides and games (4) youth friendly radio programmes across the country (5) a blog created for and by youth (6) YouTube videos and (7) a monthly question and answer competition.
This initiative had been adapted and implemented in several countries over the last ten years, successfully providing information and access to services for young people in Senegal, Benin, Mali, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Cambodia, with beneficiaries’ satisfaction measured through independent evaluations.
Almost all young people in sub-Saharan Africa – including Senegal – grow up without access to information about their sexuality, SRHR and human rights, primarily because of taboos and stigma embedded in local cultures, traditions and religions. As a result, millions of these young people are more vulnerable than they need to be – vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections (STI), unplanned pregnancies, exposure to unsafe abortion, early and or forced marriages, HIV/AIDS, stigma and discrimination. In Senegal in particular, a traditional and patriarchal culture is a major barrier to youth accessing both SRH services as well as accurate, unbiased information.
However, there is an opportunity to address these vulnerabilities by providing information on SRHR and modern contraceptives directly to adolescents through ICTs (information communication technologies). There is remarkable interest in digital tools among young people, posing a unique opportunity for these channels. Providing a safe, confidential platform that provides stigma-free and accurate information on SRHR is an opportunity to increase knowledge, change attitude and uptake of modern contraceptives and address these vulnerabilities.
The proposed solution works with the existing ecosystem in several ways. OneWorld has been working with a wide range of sexual and reproductive health NGOs and the government in order to craft this project over the past 8 years. Working with this ecosystem has allowed OneWorld to build on their efforts, bring together their expertise and spread knowledge about user centered design methodology. It is through this collaboration that the “Apprendre a Vivre program” was created. OneWorld realized young people needed a safe space to seek answers to their questions and find resources and information related to topics that are normally taboo. Working with SRHR NGOs and the Ministry of education, allowed to build on their knowledge base to build out range of offerings and deliver it to young people where they are already located — on social media, online, in schools and in youth centres.
The project also strengthens existing systems by providing teachers in schools additional teaching resources around these topics and by referring young people to youth SRH centres.
10 Full-Time equivalents
6 Service providers
Number of beneficiaries since launch