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Swaziland: Giving young people a voice

SAfAIDS in partnership with the Family Life Association implemented a Sexual Reproductive Health ( SRH) national dialogue on Family Planning for young people. The dialogue brought together 30 young people from different organisations working with young people to discuss SRH issues affecting them. The organisations included AMICAALL, Super buddies, Swaziland Young Women’s Network (SYWON), Khulisa umntfwana, Rock of hope, FLAS and SWANNEPHA.

 

FLAS youths

 

The young people dialogued on issues that are barriers in accessing family planning in the country. The programme of the day included presentations by UNFPA (Global and Regional Perspective on Young people and Family Planning), the Ministry of Health Sexual Reproductive Health Unit (Country situation) and FLAS (Family planning methods).  Edutainment by Pelepele Arts Academy was used to stir up discussions around barriers that hinder young people from accessing family planning services in Swaziland. Amongst the issues that came out from the young people is the fact that family planning is perceived as a service for older people or people with ‘families’.

 

Young people recommended that the word “Family planning” be changed so that they also feel comfortable when talking about it with their partners and other young people. They also felt that discussing family planning with a boyfriend might be misunderstood to mean the talk is about commitment, thus making it difficult to discuss family planning with boyfriends.  The group also alluded to the fact that most young people still have myths and misconceptions around access to family planning hence there is need to conduct more dialogues of young people at community level so that the myths are cleared.

 

The dialogue drew young people from the different communities which included rural and urban young. Furthermore participants were able to witness an edutainment by other young people encouraging them on access to family planning services.

 

For more information contact:

SAfAIDS Swziland Country Office

Email: safaidssz@safaids.net