|Start Date:||01/ 09/ 2007|
|End Date:||31/ 12/ 2011|
|MDG 6- Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases|
International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action
|III: INTERRELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN POPULATION, SUSTAINED|
|VII: REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH|
|XI: POPULATION, DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION|
|XII: TECHNOLOGY, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT|
Mount Lebanon (Mohafaza)
The North (Mohafaza)
The South (Mohafaza)
UNFPA, Y-PEER Network, and NGOs
Target Groups / Beneficiaries
|Title:||Project Coordinator (Y-PEER)|
Expanding the Youth Peer to Peer Education Network on HIV/AIDS Prevention
Y-PEER, the Youth Peer Education Network, is a groundbreaking and comprehensive youth-to-youth network pioneered by UNFPA. Its membership includes young people raising awareness among their peers mainly in the many areas surrounding adolescent sexual and reproductive health with particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS prevention, among other topics. In Lebanon, the network was launched in 2008 by UNFPA and is part of an international network currently present in 48 countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Africa, the Pacific, the Middle East, and Latin America. The network currently consists of 175 peer educators from various Lebanese regions and affiliated to 20 NGOs, youth clubs, Scouts, municipalities, private and public schools. The peer educators - adopt “edutainment” (education by entertainment) as a main approach in the educational process, and use educational techniques such as theater, role plays, games, movies, singing, to reach out to their peers.
The key achievements in the area of capacity development included the following:
- The Y-PEER network kicked off with 35 young peer educators affiliated to 10 NGOs in 2008, and expanded to selected rural areas as well as 7 Palestinian camps (3 in Beirut, 2 in the south, 1 in Baalbeck, and 1 in the north) reaching a total of 175 peer educators trained till 2010, and affiliated to 20 NGOs, schools, Scouts, youth clubs, and municipalities. It is worth noting that the current Y-PEER members are present in 6 Mohafazat.
- Capacity development for members of the Y-PEER network through 13 training workshops on multiple topics such as peer education around HIV/AIDS (trainings of peer educators and training of trainers), substance abuse, advocacy, project development and management, theater based peer education, monitoring and evaluation, etc., as well as 2 refresher trainings.
The key achievements in the area of awareness-raising included the following:
- Thousands of young people were reached as part of the awareness raising activities across most of the Lebanese regions. In 2008, 572 young people were reached through 31 peer education sessions using interactive methodologies and through theater show. In 2009, 465 young people were reached through 17 peer education sessions. In 2010, 2000 young people were reached through 100 peer education sessions that took place all over the country.
- From 2008 till 2010, wider youth audiences were also reached through participation of the Y-PEER network in several NGO fairs, public events (such as the Francophone Games), etc.
- While the focus in 2008 is to increase the visibility of the network by producing a variety of promotional materials (car sunshades, USB, vests, bags, key chains, T-shirts, notebooks, pens, etc.) based on ideas shared by the peer educators. In 2009 more promotional materials were produced including brochures, posters, roll-up, etc. in addition to the first edition of the Y-PEER newsletter covering main achievements. In 2010, 3 additional newsletter editions were issued and disseminated among the peer educators and partners.
The key achievements in the area of advocacy included the following:
Achievements (in 2011
- Advocating for youth participation in shaping the programs that are relevant to their health and well-being and youth sexual and reproductive health rights at the level of decision makers. For instance, in 2010, and as part of the advocacy workshop, a meeting took place between the peer educators and the Minister of Public Health and which materialized into a concrete suggestion by the Minister to form an advisory youth committee consisting of Y-PEER members within the ministry.
- Marking of international occasions: Every year, the Y-PEER networks marks IYD and WAD suing interactive means to reach out to young people, like street actions, dance show, theater performance, NGO fair, and youth competitions in various beaches and popular TV shows in 2010.
- Wide media coverage of Y-PEER activities: In 2008, the peer educators’ appearances were recorded in 2 newspapers, 1 TV station and 1 radio show. In 2009, there was wider media coverage mainly during the Francophone games, World AIDS Day (WAD) and International Youth Day (IYD), and appearances took place in 3 TV shows, 3 radio shows, and 3 newspapers. In 2010, media coverage entailed 9 appearances of the peer educators in the written press, and 10 in radio/TV.
- The investment made in developing the capacity of the peer educators flourished as one of them was accepted in the Special Youth fellowship Program lead by the technical Division of UNFPA HQ, and the second joined the Women Empowerment: Peaceful and Action for Security and Stability (WE PASS ), a UNFPA supported project implemented by the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW), as a coordinator of the “Equality With Color” activity. This activity entailed sensitizing men, women and youth from various villages on gender equality and equity as well as encouraging the use of art as a form of expression.
- A documented improvement in the knowledge and attitudes of the youth beneficiaries reached during outreach sessions and particularly about topics such as HIV/AIDS modes of transmission and prevention, stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV, psychological stages of people living with HIV, the role of youth in fighting HIV/AIDS, etc.
- Y-PEER Lebanon stood out in 2010 and was nominated by Y-PEER International Coordinators “Best network of the year 2010” among 50 other networks around the globe in honour of the network’s achievement in being the most active in terms of activities planned, the youth reached, the participation in regional and international meetings and fellowships, and the regular reporting to the international network.
The key results in the area of capacity development included the following:
- Acting as resource network: The Y-PEERs acted as a resource network to UNFPA and other UN agencies. This specifically applied to developing the capacities of young Iraqi refugees, a project supported by UNHCR. The Y-PEERs were the main facilitators of the workshop, and played a major role in monitoring the workshop and its outcome, developing its concept note and agenda, and supervising of outreach sessions, etc. The result of this training was the formation of a team of 35 young Iraqi refugees committed to conduct 20 outreach sessions related to HIV/AIDS prevention in 2 months under Y-PEER supervision.
- Developing capacities of Y-PEER on gender and human rights issues: Under the UNFPA supported MDG-F project on “Conflict prevention and Peace building in the north”, 13 Y-PEERs who came from several Palestinian camps and different Lebanese regions were trained on basic gender equality concepts from a human rights perspective as well as on gender based violence issues. They were also introduced to various tools that would help them introduce these topics to their peers within their outreach sessions. As a result, the Y-PEERs conducted 6 outreach sessions reaching out to more than 150 Palestinian and Lebanese youth in the Nahr el Bared Camp and surrounding Lebanese villages.
The key results in the area of awareness-raising included the following:
- Participating in various outreach activities, as follows:
- Y-PEER Lebanon participated in various outreach events such as the Model United Nations simulation at the Lebanese American University (LAU), where members of the network acted as resource people, presented the network, and provided information on HIV/AIDS.
- The network also participated in the 2011 NGO Fair organized by LAU which aimed at sensitizing university students on civic engagement through the participation of various NGOs and in particular those working with young people.
- Y-PEER also had a share in the Saint Joseph University international conference for young people safety by manning a booth with educational and interactive games revolving around HIV/AIDS prevention
The key results in the area of advocacy included the following:
- Engaging celebrities to act as Y-PEER spokespersons:
- Following a participatory approach with a wider audience of young people, the following celebrities were identified and selected to support the Y-PEER network: music band Masrou3 Leila, Miss Lebanon and actress Nadine Nassib Njeim, and DJs Ronin & Nesta. The selection was based on an online poll launched by Y-PEER on Facebook. The Y-PEERs were also present during the press conference for introducing the media to the celebrities and during which the 3 celebrities signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Y-PEER network committing to support their cause.
- Advocacy efforts for highlighting the role of young people in fighting HIV/AIDS through various events, as per below:
- Celebration of International youth day: Under the theme of “Dialogue and Mutual understanding”, the Y-PEER Lebanon network had conducted three activities to celebrate the International youth day (IYD). Advocacy efforts were exerted through four radio appearances, whereby the Y-PEERs conveyed information about HIV/AIDS, its routes of transmission and prevention, rights of young people to access correct information and services, and Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT). It is expected that few thousands of young people have listened to these radio shows and benefitted from the information provided by the Y-PEERs. In addition, the Y-PEERs reached out to their peers by engaging them in competitions and games about HIV/AIDS during various beach visits and reaching hundreds of their peers. More so, the Y-PEERs took part in the yearly summer festival of Hasbayya (south Lebanon) that was held on three consecutive days in August. An interactive stand was set up in the festival and around 200 young people from the local communities had the chance to engage in the interactive outreach educational game “My Health and Safety” with the Y-PEERs who distributed prizes for winners.
- Celebration of World AIDS Day: On the occasion of the World AIDS Day (WAD), the Y-PEERs supported the “Let’s Talk” Campaign by taking part in 3 TV and 4 radio interviews. In addition the network was mentioned 59 times in various articles (newspapers, magazines, and websites) all of which contributed to further increasing the network’s visibility. The interviews were a platform for the Y-PEERs to promote the VCT centers and raise awareness around the importance of stopping stigma and discrimination exerted against people living with HIV (PLHIV), which were the main “Let’s Talk” Campaign messages. Several thousands of persons were reached through these media appearances. In addition, on WAD the network contributed to the press conference event organized by the National AIDS control program (NAP) whereby it manned a booth during the NGO fair taking place during the press conference. Furthermore, the Y-PEERs supported the promotion of the “Let’s Talk” Campaign messages on social media channels whereby the Y-PEER Facebook page was also re-launched and updated with information related to young people’s rights to information, services, etc.
The key results in the area of knowledge sharing included the following:
Expected Results (in 2012
- Producing and disseminating Y-PEER newsletter: Three new editions of the Y-PEER quarterly newsletter were completed in 2011 highlighting the achievements of the network. The newsletters were disseminated to a wide range of UNFPA and Y-PEER partners. A positive feedback was received after an evaluation was carried out among the recipients acknowledging the efforts of the network, as well as the simple and youth-friendly design and writing style of the newsletter.
- Developing and producing Knowledge and learning tools: The network finalized the development of a youth friendly reference entitled “A Peer educators’ handbook to STI/HIV/AIDS prevention” comprising basic information on Sexually transmitted infections (STI) including HIV/AIDS - definition, ways of transmission and prevention, stigma and discrimination against PLHIV, nutrition of PLHIV, etc. The aim of the handbook was to equip the Y-PEERs with practical information that can be used before and while preparing for or during outreach sessions. It was developed in both Arabic and English languages.
- Producing a Y-PEER documentary: The Y-PEER network developed a Y-PEER documentary including the history of the network from its kick off in 2008 till 2011. In addition, the Y-PEER network documented the making of the “Let’s Talk” Campaign in a video that can be used in the media, national and international meetings, etc. Two versions of the documentary will be produced, one in English and the other in Arabic.
Key results in the area of capacity development will include the following:
- It is expected, based on the latest events in the Arab world, to enhance the capacities of the young people in the area of peer to peer education focusing primarily on reaching out - through various means - to youth living in humanitarian settings including the Syrians, Palestinian, and Iraqi refugees.
Key results in the area of awareness-raising will include the following:
- Outreach activities organized and carried out by Y-PEER network.
Key results in the area of advocacy will include the following:
- The Y-PEER network is expected to continue its advocacy efforts for highlighting the role of young people in fighting HIV/AIDS and other issues perceived as priorities in their communities through various events and opportunities including marking the International Youth Day and World AIDS Day among others.
- The Y-PEER network will also advocate for youth sexual and reproductive rights through various media channels including appearances on TV/radio shows and the written press.