“To ensure sustainability, the RHIVA programme agenda will be integrated in all HIV&AIDS Education initiatives, be part of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), and be mainstreamed through Life Skills education programmes and existing after-school programmes.”
This commitment was expressed at the sharing meeting of the three Member States held on 27-28 October in Lusaka, Zambia.
Participants were welcomed by Assistant Director Mr John Nyangu, representing Permanent Secretary Mr Chishimba Nkosha. Mr Nyangu presented the Permanent Secretary’s address, expressing the Ministry’s commitment to interventions such as RHIVA, which are supportive of education in Zambia.
It was clear from the presentations and country implementation plans, that all participants are fully committed to RHIVA and its further roll out in their countries.
A highlight of the two days was a visit to one of the RHIVA project schools, Matero Girls’ Secondary School. Delegates were entertained by powerful performances,
RHIVA Regional welcomes in-country staff at a workshop in Durban
In August, the RHIVA Regional Programme held a workshop at the Blue Waters Hotel for the newly appointed in-country staff. RHIVA Regional employs an in-country coordinator and a trainer in each of the three “RHIVA Member States” – Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia – and the purpose of the workshop was to orientate and train them ahead of implementation.
The workshop addressed administrative, human resources, planning and reporting matters, in order to help the in-country staff understand MIET Africa’s procedures regarding project implementation and management in SADC countries. However, perhaps the most critical part of the workshop was introducing the new staff to both the RHIVA Regional Programme itself, and its alignment to CSTL.
Delegates were also given a chance to engage with RHIVA materials, and to see how they will be used in different country settings and contexts.
Once again, from 20 to 22 November RHIVA Regional staff gathered in Durban for training and orientation on the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework and baseline study. The training was attended by the six in-country and two national members of staff, as well as three members of the CSTL team and MIET Africa’s Director of Regional Programmes. It was facilitated by Monica Trichardt from the IQ Group, a company that is responsible for the RHIVA Regional M&E framework, as well as Dr Madri Jansen van Rensburg of Resilience Analysis.
The training covered critical issues such as methods and techniques for collecting good quality data, ethical conduct of researchers, the difference between monitoring and evaluation, and data capturing. The facilitators gave practical examples of how the baseline study will be conducted. Participants were given a chance to engage with baseline study tools to get an understanding of them, as well as being afforded the opportunity for them to make their own inputs.
RHIVA (Reducing HIV in Adolescents) was a groundbreaking, school-based, HIV-prevention initiative that was implemented in 14 schools in the rural district of Vulindlela, KwaZulu-Natal. Targeting at-risk 15-20 year old boys and girls, it tested whether a cash incentive would serve as a catalyst for engaging young learners in healthy lifestyle behaviours.
The RHIVA trial was completed in KwaZulu-Natal in December 2012. It will be tested in three SADC Member States–Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.
What we know:
Sexual abuse and violence against children and youth, especially girls, is unacceptably high in southern Africa (SAPS 2009, SAHRC 2007).
Intergenerational sex and gender-based violence are recognized as key drivers of the HIV epidemic, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where the incidence of HIV infection is on the increase, particularly among young women (Leclerc-Madlala 2004, Shisana et al 2005, UNAIDS 2007, Pettifor et al 2005).
A 2008 study found that South African females aged 15 to 24 have an HIV infection rate four times that of males of the same age (Leclerc-Madlala 2008).