With just 23% of schools in Nigeria providing life skills-based HIV education and just 25% of those aged between 15 and 24 able to correctly identify effective ways of preventing HIV transmission, there is a clear and demonstrable need for investment in sexual health education. Indigo is delighted, therefore, to announce a grant of £10,000 to Youth for Tech for peer-to-peer sexual health counselling in the southeastern and Niger Delta regions of Nigeria. The RLabs Nigeria project is a partnership between Youth for Technology Foundation and Rlabs and will involve training up 50 at-risk youth in the use of ‘social media platforms and mobile technology to write about their own personal experiences’ and to work as health counsellors ‘responsible for providing sex education to other youth in the community’.
The project aims to equip young people with the tools to be able to express themselves effectively online and will provide them with training around ethics, sexual health and personal responsibility. While the youth counsellors will use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to tell the stories of their difficult backgrounds, the counselling aspect of their work will be done via SMS to achieve maximum reach.
If successful, the platform and approach could be deployed in other regions and enable the organisation to reach many more young people. We can’t wait to see how the project develops over the next year and would like to wish all the team and the young counsellors the best of luck as they get the project off the ground.