UNFPA Algeria celebrates International Youth Day by launching awareness campaigns with vacationers

12 August 2016

 

UNFPA Algeria celebrates International Youth Day by launching awareness campaigns with vacationers

Algiers, Algeria. It is 5pm and Mohamed is still enjoying his day at the beach, not to swim and relax. Mohamed is a volunteer supporting UNFPA Algeria awareness program designed for youth vacationers to educate them on sexual and reproductive health, ending gender violence and opportunities to the demographic dividend along the beaches.

Mohamed along with a group of 20 other volunteers from both sexes are hitting the beach on weekend to lead a whole day of outreach activities on crowded popular beaches through informal chats, group discussions, games and other beach activities.

 

 

"I was shy to talk when I first saw the flyers on puberty but after we talked with the presence of my mother, I learnt new information, for example that once I start having my period I can have kids" Sarah. A young adolescent met at the beach

This innovative program initiated by UNFPA Algeria in collaboration with the Ministry of National Solidarity, Family and Women Conditions is part of the implementation of the National Plan to fight Sexual Violence against Adolescents and also part of UNFPA cooperation with the Algerian Government under which, promotion of youth rights to health and wellbeing is a key pillar.

“Communicating with youth in matters of sexual and reproductive health, on male attitudes to violence against women in relevant environment through peers is being received positively, with demand for more. Interesting visitors to the stand included the Dutch Ambassador who Complimented UNFPA and the team of peers saying: they were everywhere, talking to people and that it was a very nice bunch” says Mariam Khan, UNFPA Representative in Algeria

In Algeria, one in three citizens is a young person aged 15-29 years old. On the road to the SDGs, UNFPA mainstreams efforts to empower young women and men through accurate education on their sexuality, puberty, freedom of violence and discrimination and existing mechanisms of support and care that can help them realize their full potential.

The peer educators install a stand at the entry of the beach. They put their colorful UNFPA branded t-shirts, use simple but informative package of UNFPA materials and start attracting the beachgoers to talk to them.

The female animators approach young adolescents accompanied by their mothers to talk about puberty, physical changes and key facts related to adolescence such as risks of unwanted pregnancies.

"I am proud to have participated to this campaign. Raising awareness is key to well-being. Some of the young men and women I approached didn't even know their basic rights in SRH and were so curious to learn more about them." Abdou.  Animator  

They also distribute brochures with the centers of support to women victim of violence and inform women on the existing legal systems to protect them in case of violence or harassment.

The male peers distribute cartoons to young men, discussing on male behavior and telling stories of how to avoid all forms of gender based violence. They also go under parasols to talk to young men about the importance of their involvement and mobilization to end all forms of violence against women.

This campaign is also an occasion to introduce the population what sexual and reproductive rights mean, such as right to life, to health, education, non-discrimination, freedom to choose if/when and how many pregnancies, rights to confidentiality, to equality and to freedom from all cruel and inhumane practices.  

The peers also organize short quiz to raise knowledge with fun competition and winners get one of UNFPA personalized materials with awareness slogans on ending GBV such as t-shirts and key chains.