The World Starts With Me

WORLD STARTS WITH ME - ETHIOPIA

  • Introduction
  • Program Description
  • FAQ

Introduction

The advent of the Internet and the information superhighway has provided a totally new array of opportunities for young people to be engaged in social interactions with other people or in computer simulations and games. These may be more life-like than life itself: virtual life experiences are powerfully compelling and appealing.

The ability to use a computer to expand your modes of learning is a vital necessity in today's world, whether it is to use the Internet to link up with other young people around the world or to grapple with challenging life-like computer-driven simulations.
Computers and other digital information technologies have changed how we work, communicate, travel, access services and learn. There is no doubt that the impact of technology on all aspects of everyday life will continue to grow. Indeed, technology is transforming our societies because it makes possible what was unimaginable before.

Currently, there is widespread agreement that technology literacy has become a new basic skill, and therefore a new basic for education. The world population foundation in collaboration with Development Expertise Center (DEC), 360 ground, teachers and young people in Ethiopia have developed a methodology that aims to improve social competencies among in-school and out-of-school youth.

The WSWM project offers a unique opportunity for contemporary sex education. Human rights and a positive approach towards sexuality are the starting-points in developing technical and social competencies, such as negotiation skills, contraceptive use and the right to refuse sex. These competencies are needed for informed decision-making.

The program is easy to use and can be adapted quickly, based on user feedback. The safe environment of E-learning and the self-guided, student-driven learning process facilitates interactive education on sensitive issues. The uniform, systematic learning process ensures quality across different sites. Combining text, audio and visual effects effectively helps to shape knowledge, attitudes and skills in a process of social learning by modelling.

WSWM is a sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention program. There are sixteen lessons, whose learning objectives, assignments, warming ups, presentations, games, tools, guidelines and stories are all available in a student version and a teacher version. There is a forum for both students and teachers to exchange tips and an online presentation section to upload work that has been made in the program to the group website.

Lessons

0: Computer Skills

1: The World Starts With Me
2: Emotional Ups and Downs
3: Is Your Body Changing Too?
4: Friends and Relationships
5: Boys and Girls, Male and Female
6: Culture and our HTPs
7: Seeking for Human Entitlment!
8: Sexuality and Love
9: Pregnancy: 4 Girls and 4 Boys!
10: Protect Yourself: STIs and HIV/AIDS
11: HIV/AIDS: U have a role 2 play 2
12: Love shouldn't Hurt
13: Drug/Substance abuse and Sexuality

14: Your Future, Dreams and Plans
15: My Top Tips peer book
16: Exhibition


The lessons usually start with a theme-based warming up, followed by a presentation by Hawi and Tesfaye, the virtual peer educators. Hawi and Tesfaye are the main sources of knowledge in this program.
The next step is often a game (such as the body change game, the personality game, the who's responsible game or the safe sex quiz) which serves to help students internalize information and explore opinions. The next step and the main part of most lessons is the assignment. The assignment is always a creative activity. For example, the students may have to create a storyboard, art work or do a role play using digital means.

Who is it for?
WSWM has been produced for young people in the age range of 12-19 year in Ethiopia. It has been designed to be used in secondary schools and out-of-school facilities such as Computer training centers and youth organizations, in a student-facilitator situation. The program is youth-friendly. It is, however, also friendly to teachers, in the sense that teachers will find all the materials and instructions they need, plus the assistance of peer educators Hawi & Tesfaye, who introduce detailed information on sexuality and sexual health. The first version was made for Ugandan youth and continues to be implemented in that country. In Ethiopia, the WSWM has been piloted and implemented since 2012 in six institutions reaching over 300 youth in 2012 alone.

Do young people in Ethiopia have access to computers?
While computer access is currently still scarce, the number of computers is growing. There are an increasing number of initiatives to help provide computers to schools and youth centres. This program is being implemented through computer for schools who have distributed computers to hundreds of schools in different parts of the country. Although availability of computers may still be a problem in several areas, many schools and informal institutions have however made efforts to purchase computers on their own. The computers tend to be basic and there are four or five students per computer. The program has been designed for such a setting. The latest version of the program allows all exercises to be done without the computer where necessary.

Aren't there enough AIDS prevention programs already?
There are many initiatives, tackling the issue of HIV/AIDS from many angles. Most people agree that prevention is better than cure. This program is interesting because it embeds HIV/AIDS prevention in a wide range of health issues, such as knowing yourself better, sexuality, teenage pregnancy and sexual abuse, using a rights-based approach in line with WPF policy. It also incorporates useful job skills in computer literacy.

Is this program suitable for young people who are illiterate?
The programme has been developed for students who can read English. We hope to broaden its reach by developing versions for illiterate people, in other languages and for younger children.

Are teachers equipped to teach/facilitate this program?
Teachers of this program are given a one-week training session to learn more about sexual and reproductive health and rights and about using this program. To facilitate as broad a range of teachers as possible, teachers need neither be sexual health experts or IT experts to teach/facilitate this program as it is very user-friendly and all necessary contents have been incorporated into the program.

How do young people participate in this project?
The project was developed in co-operation with teachers, artists, sexual and reproductive health specialists and young people from Ethiopia. The form, content and usefulness of the program was extensively tested by students, teachers and Young people from Ethiopia based on the Ugandan version.

Where did the name come from?
The name was chosen for its implicit emphasis on personal choice and responsibility.

Can this program be easily adapted to other settings and languages?
In principle, this program can be adapted to any language or setting. We first need to look at the target group and adapt the contents to meet their needs. It is relatively easy to adapt the program in a technical sense, such as updating the pictures and texts on the website.

Can anyone start using this program?
Using the program is not restricted but even encouraged. Teachers using the program will receive an advance training session and will be backed up by sexual and reproductive health experts when they have questions. Further agreements will be made with a local youth-friendly, medical and counselling service to assist young people who come forward with problems the teachers are not equipped to deal with. If you are interested in using this program, please contact wswm@wpf.org or info@decethiopia.com

How many people are currently using this program?
Currently 6 schools are participating. It is anticipated that over 30 schools will be participating in 2012 and beyond. They are assisted by SRH trainers and students who participated in the pilot run. In 2012, 'DEC Ethiopia' in Ethiopia piloted the program for the Ethiopian context. The program and our approach for reaching out to a greater number of young people have now been tested and are in place. The program does need more funds to back up wider implementation. Since 2004, WPF has adapted the program for Uganda, Kenya, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

 

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