My Age Zimbabwe successfully hosted a stakeholders meeting for the Girls Choose project 2023 to map out the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) difficulties, reflect on the strategies for the project in 2022 and create a plan for the future.
The Girls Choose project’s overall objective is to create a conducive environment for adolescents and young people in their diversity with specific emphasis to girls and young women in Zimbabwe, to access SRHRs and HIV related information freely and safely.
My Age Zimbabwe’s project officer Obedience Mazenge said this year the project will focus more on strengthening collaborative action to ensure the future of young people, especially in marginalized communities, is not harmed by a lack of appropriate sexual and reproductive health services, praising 2022 accomplishments.
“The project’s objectives in 2023 are to increase networking and to continue facilitating and naturalizing a model for HIV and generally SRHRs access to local grassroots communities beginning with Masvingo in an effort to close apparent gaps and secure the future of many young people (especially girls and young women).
The Girls Choose project in 2022 introduced the SRHR tuck shops which include barber shops, saloons as well as market stalls and the 263 YouthTV which were big wins and also trained new SRHR champions among many of its interventions and this led to reduction of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) statistics in Masvingo,” Mazenge said.
In addition to praising the work done by the Girls Choose initiative in 2022, Masvingo urban District Aids Coordinator Claudia Chimusoro emphasizes the necessity for increased networking to strengthen the project in 2023.
“The Girls Choose project has produced positive results over the past year, and to keep up the good work and take it to higher levels, there should be increased networking between the SRHR champions and service providers, nurses, creation of youth-friendly corners and facilities, increased engagement with community gatekeepers, schools, religious leaders, and more engagement meetings,” she said.
District Aids Coordinator for Masvingo rural Munyaradzi Mapwashike applauded the Girls Choose project’s work done in 2022 supporting the idea of increasing networking and engagements, he urged everyone to make a difference in their communities to fill in information gaps on SRHR.
“We thank the GirlsChoose project for excellent work, but more needs to be done to fill in information gaps on SRHR among young people, so let’s balance it with the boy to avoid empowerment limitations,there should also be low cost training services for teachers and nurses on SRHR and how to network with the young people in order to create youth friendly environments,”said Mapwashire.