Peer Health Educators (PHE) Training
AHIP trains over 600 young people every year in peer health education, both in & out of school. Topics facilitated at these trainings include: sex and sexuality, gender and gender roles, HIV/AIDs, sexually transmitted infections, contraception, drug abuse, gender based violence and assaultive behaviour, communication and negotiation skills, self esteem, leadership qualities, and many more.
Dauda, 21 years old, found out about the PHE training through a friend. At first he was reluctant to enlist, as he had a lot of work and studying to do, but eventually he was persuaded. He is glad he changed his mind - he feels he has learnt a lot, especially about self esteem and drug abuse, and looks forward to passing on the information he has learnt to his peers.
It was an AHIP visit to Ado’s school on drug abuse that inspired him to find out more about the organization, and to become a Peer Health Educator. He says that before doing the training, he did not believe that HIV existed. He adds that the training has helped him grow in confidence, and many of his friends now come to the AHIP library regularly to read up on reproductive health and self-esteem.
The Leaders in Reproductive Health (RH) Training
Aimed at developing leaders to promote positive reproductive health in the community, this programme has reached 12 northern states in the five years since it began. It involves selecting leaders from “all walks of life”, equipping them with reproductive health knowledge, developing their leadership skills and encouraging them to form groups and become advocates of RH for women, young people and the family. It also involves the establishing or refurbishing of RH centres, providing child spacing/Family Planning services in hard-to-reach areas, and integrated leadership development programmes for community leaders and religious leaders.
Special Youths Programme
AHIP runs a specific program for ‘special youths’ - young people who are involved in drug and substance abuse. They are given counseling, are encouraged to face up to their addiction, and given advice on how to continue with a positive life style. AHIP counseling is available for as long as it is needed.
Yusuf Mustafa, 20, was thrown out of his home by his step-mother. As a street child he begged on the street and quickly became addicted to Valium and marijuana. Finding him on the street, an AHIP staff member encouraged him to enroll on the special youths programme. He has since substantially reduced his drug intake and has also followed the AHIP vocational skills training in carpentry. Now he is financially self supporting, reports back to AHIP twice a month and feels optimistic about the future.
Sports for Outreach
AHIP has been running youth basketball teams since 1993; while channeling energy towards positive physical activity, the programme also educates and empowers adolescents with factual information concerning their health and social well being. AHIP currently trains three basketball teams, both senior and junior - two male (the AHIP Giants and the Rising Stars) and one female (the AHIP Queens). The AHIP Giants and Queens both play in the nation’s premier league, and are respected and visible peer health educators.
AHIP also runs a football team for boys and girls between the ages of 10-17, both in and out of school. All players are trained peer health educators.
Principals and Counsellors Training
AHIP’s Principals and Counsellors Training workshop sensitizes school principals and counselors on how to better discuss health issues in a youth-friendly way. It suggests ways in which they can help young people address their problems, enlightens participants on topics that are sensitive and suggests activities that can be conducted in schools to better tackle social and health issues.
The AHIP in-school program brings issues of human sexuality to schools in short 2-3 hour sessions. Young people and teachers are given the chance to ask questions and receive information in an informal, informative way, and it creates an environment in which it becomes easier for teachers, principals, guardians and students to interact and learn from one another. Often in-school clubs are formed as a result of the program, which provide opportunities for more interaction and learning, building on the initial in-school facilitation.
Special Advocacy Programmes: Integrating Sexuality
AHIP has partnered with the Nigerian government and other stakeholders to integrate Family Life Education and HIV/AIDS education into the school curriculum. This work involves the integration of the two topics into the national junior secondary school curriculum; the development of teaching materials, student learning materials and evaluation tools; and the training of all teachers of junior secondary schools in two states.
Faith Based Leaders for Safe Motherhood Advocacy
AHIP has so far trained 450 Juma’at Imams (leaders of Friday prayers in mosques) to
educate them on contemporary health and rights issues and remind them of their crucial role in promoting Family Health. AHIP is planning further trainings of faith based leaders.
The training is a five-day facilitation on contemporary health and rights issues and reminds religious leaders of their crucial role in promoting safe motherhood and child spacing; better promoting women’s rights; preventing HIV/AIDS; and reducing the stigma surrounding people living with HIV/AIDS.
The sessions have so far helped the Juma’at Imams appreciate their involvement in redressing the unacceptable levels of maternal mortality in Nigeria, support advocacy within Islamic jurisdiction for the promotion of safe motherhood, fertility improvement and family planning, and to address the reduction of gender based violence, infant and child morbidity and mortality.