Mr Muvhundusi is one of the guide and counselling teachers at Chegato high school in Mberengwa district, which is one of the schools under the SAfAIDS Young People Information Advocacy (YPISA) programme, spearheaded by Betseranai a SAfAIDS partner. He highlighted a number of challenging issues that were affecting students before the intervention of the YPISA programme. Amongst these are bullying, dealing with relationships, pre-marital sex, drugs and alcohol abuse. Reports indicate that young people are at high risk of contracting HIV with 40% of all new HIV infections occurring in 15 to 24 year olds. As such empowerment on sexual health information is a necessity.
“Bullying traumatized students leading some to eventually stop coming to school in fear of the wrath of senior students who made their life a living hell. The most affected were the newcomers especially Form ones and lower six students during their first term at school. At times it became uncontrollable as it had almost seemed like it is part of ‘initiation’. Drugs and alcohol abuse became prevalent with mainly boys using dagga to supposedly boost their energy so that they prolong their reading hours. Early and unintended pregnancies were also witnessed. An intervention was therefore needed to curb the deteriorating situation.
For Mr. Muvhundusi, the SAfAIDS YPISA programme at Chegato secondary school was the light. The sexual reproductive health knowledge imparted to students enlightened them to know and exercise their sexual reproductive health and rights. The YPISA club which was formed at the school comprises of 10 YPISA Champions who are actively involved in educating fellow students on different issues affecting adolescents. The radio listening club which is part of the YPISA package with radio skits tackles various issues on Gender Based Violence (GBV), peer pressure, relationships amongst other issues.
As a teacher, Mr Muvhundusi is proud to see the total transformation that he has witnessed amongst his students and is committed to ensure that the intervention continues to bear fruits.
Overall, SAfAIDS and Betseranai (SAfAIDS partner) have positively contributed in addressing sexual health issues for adolescents in several schools in Mberengwa district.