Volunteers' Refresher Training on SRH and GBV
The Family Life Association of Eswatini welcomed new volunteers to a one-day training that was conducted at FLAS headquarters in Manzini. In observing COVID-19 protocols restricting gatherings, some members followed the proceedings virtually.
The training was intended to welcome recently recruited volunteers to the organization and provide them with the knowledge and resources required to be Peer educators. The issues of Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Offence and Domestic Violence also formed part of the agenda of the training.
To kick-start, the training, FLAS’ President Mr Ambrose Maseko extended welcome remarks to volunteers and further expressed gratitude to them for choosing to attach themselves to the organization. The president went on to encourage them to never give up on the volunteerism journey, citing himself as a testimony. FLAS’ Communications and Marketing Officer Mr Phila Nhlabatsi presented the organization’s mission, values and the various services it provides to young people plus its partners and stakeholders. In his closing remarks, he encouraged volunteers to represent the organization well out there as they were now brand ambassadors.
Ms Philile Malindzisa, Youth Affairs and Advocacy Manager highlighted issues of unemployment, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse that had a negative impact on the youth under the new normal. She said it is the role of Peer Educators to capacitate their peers about Sexual Reproductive Rights. She challenged volunteers to make use of Sexual Reproductive Health service delivery points to refer their peers. Malindzisa further encouraged the Peer Educators to capitalize on social media platforms as a communication tool to deliver Comprehensive Sexuality Education as most of the young people are on the sites.
The Ministry of Health’s Head Coordinator for Gender-Based Violence GBV and psychologist Ms. Nozipho Nzuza-Motsa was the last facilitator in the training where she spoke lengthily about GBV stating that the health sector has an active role and mandate to manage physical, emotional and sexual violence such that it refers some of the victims to the right sectors for further assistance. According to statistics, teenagers between the ages of 15-19 showed the highest number of people experiencing physical and sexual abuse. Furthermore, those ranging between 20-24 stayed in abusive relationships just because they wanted to feel loved. Concerning the SODV act, she said it applies to both genders and perpetrators should be reported to the authorities so that they are punished. She also stated the health effects of GBV; depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and drug abuse and it marked the end of the training.