As we look ahead to the new year packed with exciting plans, we reflect on the highlights of 2016 and the impact our work had last year.
Futures’ Freedom – a successful first year!
This year we’ve educated over 7,000 community members on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, trained 30 Public Health Nurses and 250 head teachers so they can better support adolescents and prepared 231 peer educators so they’re confident to share their knowledge back at school.
A year after it’s launch the Futures' Freedom project is going strong, achieving more than we expected in its first year supporting girls and young women and tackling the issue of teenage pregnancy and child marriage head on.
A need for the programme was identified through our work in education which revealed that the pressure for girls to marry and have children was acting as a major barrier to education. This is not only holding girls back, and putting their health at risk, it’s holding back entire communities. The programme is transforming the futures of young women by promoting gender equality and empowering them with knowledge on their sexual health and rights.
Ending the Spirit Child Phenomenon for good
AfriKids recorded the end of the Spirit Child Phenomenon in the village of Sirigu four years ago and since then we have expanded the work tackling this damaging cultural belief which puts children at risk. In short, the Spirit Child Phenomenon is a belief that a child born with health problems, disabilities or whose birth coincides with tragic events, is a spirit sent from the bush to cause misfortune for their family. As a result the child may be subjected to abuse, neglect or even infanticide.
We have been working to put an end to this harmful traditional practice for a number of years, working closely with local communities and their chiefs to ensure a lasting change is made. Following the success of this work, last year we expanded into the Bongo district and are currently working with 11 out of the 33 communities there. Looking ahead to this year we hope to start work in the remaining Bongo Communities and see an end to SCP in many more.