Info Ado: Apprendre a Vivre Senegal
In Senegal, the majority of young people grow up without access to information about their sexuality, sexual and reproductive health (SRH), and human rights, largely due to taboos and stigma created by local cultures, traditions, and religions. Nevertheless, a significant portion of young girls and boys become sexually active during their adolescent years. As a result, millions of youth are more vulnerable than they need to be, to sexual and gender based violence, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and stigma and discrimination.
Senegal has a young population, with 28 percent of people aged 10 to 19 and 42 percent of people under the age of 34. At the same time that the Senegalese population is growing younger, it is also becoming more urbanized, a confluence of factors meaning that now more than ever, young people have access to new social structures, mobile phones, and online spaces, and to each other in media under less parental and community supervision. The need for accurate, trustworthy, non-judgmental information about sexuality, human rights, and SRH has never been greater.
What is Info Ado Senegal?
Launched in late 2010, Info Ado Senegal has been helping young people both in and out of schools to develop their skills and understanding of SRH through an interactive eLearning environment, a mobile phone question-and-answer service staffed by trained counsellors, and community radio programming.
The interactive eLearning environment, Click Info Ado, was designed by Butterfly Works and built by the African Network for Health Education (RAES). The platform provides young people with a safe and dynamic source of reliable SRH information, circumventing cultural taboos that often preclude discussion of such topics. From January 2011 to July 2013 alone, more than 50,000 students from 52 schools across the country used the eLearning platform, while a total of 1,100 teachers and peer educators were trained to use the dynamic platform.
OneWorld's mobile phone and web-based question-and-answer service, Bip Info Ado, provides young people with anonymous, accurate and non-judgmental information and services from trained counsellors, extending both the reach and the impact of SRH and gender education. By mid-2013, the mobile platform had answered roughly a quarter of a million SMS in total sent in by more than 67,000 individual users. The Bip Info Ado Senegal services are provided by trained counsellors from Enda Graf Sahel.
The community radio component, Radio Info Ado, allows OneWorld to reach the maximum number of youth in both urban and rural areas by broadcasting thematic shows in both French and Wolof on five themes, including sexuality, puberty and physical changes, and family planning.
Summing up the importance of these services, one female student in Dakar said:
"Click Info Ado [as the eLearning program is known locally] allows us to know our bodies, to understand the transition from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. It gives us the opportunity to talk about sexuality because our society here, young people are not supposed to talk about this with our elders."
A school coordinator in M'Bour wrote to us:
"Thanks to the use of the ClickInfoAdo platform and the collaboration with OneWorld, our school received a national award within the Global Dialogues 2014 competition. Our school received three prizes of the 20 that were won nationally. The topics of the competition were amongst others, sexuality, sexual violence, STIs and HIV... themes that are covered by the ClickInfoAdo programme. This has really contributed to the brilliant success of our students in this competition thanks to the information they received via OneWorld UK."
Info Ado Senegal is implemented by a collaborative network of actors, including OneWorld UK, Enda Graf Sahel, the Group for the Study of and Education about Population (GEEP), the Network of Support to Development Initiatives (RAID), the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Intermondes, the African Network for Health Education (RAES), the AIDS Information Service - Africa (SIS-AFRIQUE), FHI 360 Senegal, and the National Ministries of Education (DCMS) and Health.
Funding for the project has been provided by Oxfam Novib. The Learning about Living concept was developed by OneWorld UK and Butterfly Works Netherlands in 2007 and has since been introduced in Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt, Mali, and most recently, in Cambodia.
Watch: Connecting 4 Life from our partner ButterflyWorks
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