Communication for Health, a current project being funded by John Snow Inc. (JSI/JHU), is receiving funding from USAID in order to increase knowledge and beneficial practices concerning health through Social and Behavioral change communication (SBCC) approach in the East Gojam Zone of Amhara. This project mainly focuses on multiple health areas including: reproductive health, maternal newborn and child health (RMNCH), Malaria, Tuberculosis (TB), WASH, Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and Nutrition.

Addressing the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Adolescents and Young People is receiving fund from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Amplifychange to eradicate early marriage and reduce early and closely spaced child bearing practices among girls and young women in the North Shoa Zone of the Amhara region. The project integrates age segmented, status oriented information and services to demanding and utilizing adolescent sexual and reproductive health services and empowering adolescents and youth. Comprehensive sexuality education and information project intends to create awareness about sexuality and Sexual and reproductive health through applying mass and intensive social and behavioral change approach; and youth friendly education modalities for quality and accessible services to in and out of school children and youth.

Keeping Gils in school and out of early marriage is one of the projects supported by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Amplify change as part of their strategy to help young women receive the quality reproductive health information, services and education they need to thrive. Because villages are too far apart from one another, it is not feasible to build and more high schools. Hiwot Ethiopia has created “safe house” near high schools in three woredas in Amhara region. Girls can live in the houses while they attend high school, eliminating the daily trek to school. The project also provides support and companionship for the girls, including books and educational materials. The girls receive monthly stipends as well as reproductive health information and supplies like sanitary pads so they do not miss classes when they are menstruating.

HIV & STI risk reduction among in school youth, is a project implemented by Hiwot Ethiopia and funded by AIDS Health Foundation in order to increase knowledge of HIV and STIs and VCT service practices of secondary school youths.  The project goal is to prevent the rapid spread of HIV and STIs by creating awareness and facilitating VCT access for students. Furthermore, creating a safe environment for mostly high risk urban vulnerable girls is another project to increase commercial sex workers knowledge on HIV prevention and supporting their economic status.


Prevention of MARPs group from HIV/AIDS, VCT & STIs in Addis Ababa

Project title: Increasing the knowledge, attitude and practices of Most at risk groups in Addis Ababa

Hiwot Ethiopia was implemented increasing the knowledge, attitude and practices of Most at Risk groups by the support of Engederhealth. The project was implemented in three sub cities of Addis Ababa targeting in and out of school youth and community groups. The overall objective of the program is to improve the situation for HIV/AIDS situation among children, youth and the community. Hiwot Ethiopia has employed the following objectives:

  1. To increasing the knowledge, attitudes and practices of children, youth and the community for the prevention of HIV/AIDS, STIs and promotion of VCT services.
  2. To increase the knowledge, and improve the attitudes and practices of vulnerable urban and rural boys, girls and adult men to challenge male gender norms, for the prevention of HIV & AIDS, SRH problems and GBV;
  3. To facilitate access to medical, legal and psychosocial support for vulnerable boys and girls and their partners;
  4. To develop and strengthen coordination efforts and a supportive environment among the community and youth focused CSOs for the sustainable implementation of HIV/AIDS prevention and VCT services;

Major achievements

Group Peer discussion: Intensive group peer discussions were conducted in targeted secondary schools students of Addis Ababa targeting in using the male as partner/MAP approaches. The discussions covered: act like a man, Levels of HIV risks, and HIV prevention methods, VCT services, Stigma & discrimination.

Evening Students group peer education/ GPE: This intervention regarded as principal element of the project as it targeted evening students. Hiwot Ethiopia’s assessment at the planning stage revealed that the majority of these students found to be housemaids. Due to various socio-economic factors, this target population considered to be highly vulnerable to HIV. Many interventions directed to HIV prevention neglected housemaids, since they are “hard to reach” target.

Peoples with Disabled training: The peer educators training was conducted based on the edited MARPs Manual for peoples with disabilities in collaboration with the Ethiopians for Ethiopians Blind Association and the Ethiopian National Deaf Association peer educators, for 2 and ½ day. The selection of the peer educators was conducted in collaboration of Ethiopians for Ethiopians Blind Association. During the training selected 8 topics of the training manual a: Act like a Man, HIV and AIDS, Levels of HIV Risk, STDs, Proper Use of Condoms, Discussion on the use of Condoms, Sexual Violence, and Establishing Consent for Safe Sex, covered.

Evening Student peer educators training: During the reporting period peer educators training was given for most at risk evening students’ from selected 20 target schools. Out of the total participants 25% of them were housemaids. The participants received issues on act like a Man, HIV and AIDS, Levels of HIV Risk, STDs, Proper Use of Condoms, discussion on the use of Condoms, Sexual Violence, and Establishing Consent for Safe Sex issues was covered and the trainee were awarded with certificate.

Out of school youth club discussion: The out of school youth clubs discussions was aimed at largely addressing most at risk in and out of school boys and girls in Addis Ababa. One of the objectives to address out of school youths was to increase awareness and understanding of HIV prevention. In fulfilling this objective the organization planned to reach vulnerable out of school youths in collaboration over 18 out of school youth clubs in Addis Ababa. Participants/peers reflected that the issues or messages raised during group peer education helped them to build high level awareness on the role of harmful male gender norms as aggravating the spread of HIV and STIs.

Teachers training: training for evening school teachers who become facilitators for the most at risk peoples targeting project. These teachers, who were supposed to coordinate and facilitate in-school intervention, They are drawn from 20 schools and trained with 5 training groups. The training was conducted based on MAP/MARPs hybrid manual. The 8 topics of this manual are: Act like a Man, HIV and AIDS, Levels of HIV Risk, STDs, Proper Use of Condoms, Discussion on the use of Condoms, Sexual Violence, and Establishing Consent for Safe Sex.

At the end of the training participants (teachers) confirmed to work with Hiwot Ethiopia in an effort to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS among evening students, particularly among house maids. They ensured their commitment to coordinate and facilitate in-school intervention so that they can contribute for the promotion of safer sexual behavior and practices among evening students.

Community based discussions: The community based organizations (CBO) undertook several series of group peer discussions based on standardized male as partner/MAP group education manuals. The target individuals intensively discussed male gender norms for the prevention of HIV and gender based violence (GBV). The group discussions were conducted in a participatory manner with lively discussions among participants on MAP topics like learning about gender, act like a man, levels of HIV risk, alphabets of prevention, getting tested for HIV, from violence to respect, sexual consent…etc. The discussions were facilitated and led by trained MAP peer educators.

Support out of school youth clubs: Hiwot has taken a need based approach to offer the capacity building support over 18 youth clubs to build the capacity and ensures sustainability. To strengthening their capacity different music materials purchased and donated for the clubs/associations. Accordingly, Hiwot has provided financial supports for youth clubs/ associations to manage the project activities based on the club’s annual plan of action. The youth clubs/association were received monthly finance to support the peer to peer discussion, club leaders and peer educator’s monthly stipend and office administration costs. Accordingly Hiwot has provided technical support for youth clubs to deliver quality information and services for youths.

Support persons with Disability association: Hiwot has taken a need based approach to offer the capacity building support for two persons with disability associations in order to motivate their efforts on the prevention of HIV & AIDS in Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian National Association for the deaf and Ethiopians for Ethiopian blind Association have been donated different music material, computers and other stationary materials.

Father’s day which was celebrated at the end of June was the biggest event. The public panel discussion held at Addis Ababa city council with the involvement of various stakeholders such as HAPCO, Women’s Children and Youth Affairs, Education Bureaus, School Officials, Women association leaders and members, Club members from the respective sub cities, as well as fathers and children. The fathers’ day is being celebrated with the motto of “I am a good father! I protect myself and my family from HIV”. Accordingly 20 minutes radio conversation and SMS message targeting 100000 people were conducted during the day.

Health Program In Amahara

ASRHR/FP and Girls Education

To address early marriage as well as early and closely spaced pregnancies in the Amhara region, Hiwot Ethiopia has been implementing a community based adolescent and youth reproductive health program in four woredas (districts) of the North Shewa Zone since 2002 with the support of the German Foundation for World Population and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. Currently the organization has been implementing such project with the support of other Amplifychange and others.

The overall objective of the program is to delay marriage and promote birth spacing among young peoples and newly married couples. The program is based on the lessons acquired from a similar project model known as PRACHAR, which is implemented in Bihar, India. PRACHAR is a community based program which uses multi-disciplinary youth focused age and life stage appropriate communication methods. Hiwot has adopted selected components of this model and employed a three pronged objectives:

  1. Empowering girls and young couples with SRH/FP information
  2. Improving access to SRH/FP services
  3. Fostering an enabling environment

Major achievements

The youth friendly health centers in close collaboration of public and private health facilities play a significant role in providing quality reproductive health information and services for young people.

Created strong referral arrangement with private and public health care facilities to provide youth friendly referral services for young people on SRH/FP/HIV prevention, counseling and testing and other services

In collaboration with health facilities, youth clubs, trained health extension workers and house to house facilitators, provided quality and youth friendly sexual reproductive health information and services for young people.

Young people living in the program areas were attended an age segmented (10-14, 15-19 & 20-24) peer group discussions and created better understanding and behaviors on sexual and reproductive health issues, including family planning and factors that expose young people to HIV and STIs

Safe houses created near to high schools in the woredas supported girls to attend the school and eliminating the daily trek to school. The safe home program provided support and companionship for girls, including reading rooms and educational materials. Due to the safe house support, we have seen a dramatic reduction in dropouts.

Community groups, religious leaders, government representatives, school community groups attended on outreach programs and received adequate information on girls education and barriers of girls education.

Youth clubs capacities improved so as to reach their peers in quality youth friendly information and services on SRH/FP/HIV prevention, counseling and testing and other.

Community action teams were established and strengthened which are comprised from religious fathers, government stakeholder and school representatives to fight against child marriage promotion of girls education.

Sanitary pad support: Girls were absent during menstrual cycle from the regular classes, this is serious problem in the country.  In order to help girls to attend their education and reduce absenteeism, Hiwot has been provided training on skills of locally made sanitary pad preparation , management of menstrual cycles and Sexual Reproductive Health information for girls living in the safe home and outside of the same home. As a result of such intervention girls school attendance increased