Youths to help peers in outlying districts
the United nations Population Fund (UnFPA) is holding a four-day workshop for young volunteers who are to be placed at youth resource centres around the country.
the workshop started on tuesday at United nations (Un) House in Maseru and seeks to make the participants life-skill trainers for fellow youths after their graduation tomorrow.
UNFPA National Programme Officer on Hiv-prevention and Young People, ‘Mamorao Khaebana, said the training is meant to support the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and recreation in re-opening some of the closed-down youth resource centres throughout the districts and help improve the lives of young people.
“the group that is being training here is called United Nations Volunteers (UNVS). these are all Basotho and expected to persuade their fellow youths into seeing the value of what they are doing as Un volunteers.
“they need to teach their peers about issues that affect them such as HIV/AIDS and teenage-pregnancy, and how to avoid being victims of these social ills,” Ms Khaebana said.
The youths, Ms Khaebana added, had increasingly become reluctant to go to the resource centres because parents were not keen to have their children addressed by the volunteers believing they would be fed the wrong information.
“our country has a high rate of teenagepregnancy as well as HIV, so the youths really need to be told about such issues through peer-education. This is meant to ensure they have interest in the subject and are comfortable as they will be interacting with people their own age.”
One of the volunteers, ‘Maseme Seme, said she had applied to be part of the training because of her outgoing personality and dream of helping young people have a better future.
“We have the highest number of orphans and vulnerable children living in the re- mote areas of our country but these districts lack relevant information to make the lives of the youths easier.
“that’s why you see a child whose father is a herd-boy following in his footsteps, thinking that’s how it is meant to be, when it’s not supposed to be that way.
“So I’m positive that after this training, I will be able to bring change in other people’s lives using the skills that I would have been taught here.
“I grew up in the rural areas so I know what it is like to live there. That’s why it’s not going to be a problem for me to be placed in such areas, and help change the lives of my age-mates for the better.”