Founded by Thokozile Ngwenya in 2008, Youths for Today and Tomorrow (YFTT) is a gender sensitive organisation whose objective is to enable young people’s voices to be heard.
It facilitates the accessibility of information and services to young women and is dedicated to establishing and maintaining a supportive environment for youths. YFTT is currently running a sexual and reproductive health and rights mentorship project in Bulawayo’s ward 13 and in wards 10 and 19 in Matobo district in Matabeleland South.
The programme is dubbed “Sisters fighting Against HIV and Aids : Claiming their Rights One Woman At A Time”. Twenty young mothers from each of the three wards have been trained as mentors.
“The mentorship project seeks to increase the capacity of young women including those with disabilities, teen mothers and young women living with and affected by HIV and Aids to be able to access sexual and reproductive health services without stigma, discrimination or violence. This is a pilot project which we believe will empower young women to claim their sexual and reproductive health rights,” explained Wandile Maphosa, the project officer.
She said the mentors were first equipped with mentorship skills and adequate information about reproductive health rights before they were sent out to mentor other young girls in the community.
“One person should at least mentor a maximum of two people per given period. The trained mentors are required to provide a leadership role and guidance to the mentees as well as to assist them to identify and deal with challenges relating to reproductive health rights and HIV and Aids issues,” said Maphosa.
One of the mentors, Progress Mlandwa, 25, said a lot of young mothers in Mabutweni where the project is being implemented were now familiar with their reproductive health rights.
“I was trained a mentor last year. So far I have mentored two people. Very soon these people will also be mentors. A lot of young mothers are coming to us asking to be part of this project,” said Mlandwa.
Josephine Moyo, 24, hailed the programme as an eye opener. “I now know my sexual and reproductive health rights. I can now fully challenge anyone who violates my rights. Of late, I have been abused but I did not know what to do,” she said.
The organisation also uses social media to disseminate health and rights information. “We have formed strong social support systems through these social networks. We also use girls’ soccer to bring the young women together and to us this symbolises kicking away challenges. Scoring also signifies success in claiming their rights,” said Maphosa.
For more information please contact –Thokozile Ngwenya Number 2 Elendon Court, between 12th and 13th Avenue S.Parirenyatwa Bulawayo
Whatsaap : 0783853864Post published in: Gender Equality