Youths to help peers in out­ly­ing dis­tricts

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

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.”

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