Justine’s Story

Peer to Peer education saving up young lives in Tanzania

Justine is a young change maker from Kyela District impacting change through peer education where he facilitates sessions in five (5) villages in Mwaya ward in Mbeya Region.

Recurring incidents of abuse, assault and misconduct carried out by juvenile in conflict with the law has been a great threat in some areas in Tanzania. Dropouts in secondary schools have been one of the main problems facing the education sector in many developing countries, Tanzania inclusive.

Many of the children who have dropped out of school end up being exploited in many ways since their only option becomes employment in the informal sector such as farm work, mining, domestic servants, sex work and often under abusive and exploitative conditions unable to make informed choices.

Intervention that changed lives

Justine joined (GRREAT) Pamoja Tuwawezeshe Wasichana Programme implemented by Restless Development funded by UNICEF. He attended foundation training that enabled him to gain the necessary knowledge and skills on how to go about moderating peer to peer sessions to address the community. Thereafter he focused on organising community meetings to speak with parents about the lessons in his sessions and later on began training Adolescents on Nutrition, Life Skills and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. To be more engaging he went further inviting Community Health Worker (CHW) to facilitate the session with him.

Working with community

Justine worked closely with the ward executive office and village chairperson as community leaders urging them to emphasize and motivate more adolescents into attending the peer to peer sessions. Justine as a Young peer Educator carried out fun activities like Bonanza to further motivate other adolescents to join the session but also keep the others more engaged.

As a result Adolescent attending sessions, the rate of young boys smoking at a young age has reduced tremendously and from the group of girls Justine trained, they attest in making informed decisions about their bodies.

Change in behaviour and mindset within the community is truly seen especially with parents who are now urging their kids to attend our sessions but also taking time to speak on the sexual reproductive health and rights to their children