Vakon May 2011

Activity Report

Post: Vakon
Date(s) of Project: Saturday May 7, Saturday May 21, Saturday May 28, 2011

Brief Description of Project:

The funds provided by this GSP proposal financed the second part of my Peer Health Educator training program: the evaluation and graduation ceremony. Over three 2-hour sessions, peer educators planned, designed and presented their own mock lessons in small groups. The topics were HIV/AIDS and STIs; Family Planning; Healthy Relationships, Decision-Making and Abstinence; and Malaria. The GSP funds provided materials to create posters, handouts, visuals, games, etc. Each presentation was evaluated by me and the other peer educators, and each group was given feedback. Following the evaluation, the participants celebrated their hard work and their new status as peer educators with a completion ceremony. Funds were used to print certificates, purchase refreshments and t-shirts. The t-shirts also serve the purpose of identifying these students to their peers as health resources both during and outside of future classroom animations.

Although the completion ceremony marked an end to this year's training, it is only the beginning of this project. We will be scheduling several community animations with our newly trained educators throughout the school vacation Next year I have my sights on continuing and expanding the program with the election of a selection and training board made up of students and administration, in order to increase the program's sustainability even after my departure.

Number of People Involved:

Gender/Age # of
Individuals
Service Providers (work partners, project co-organizers,
technicians, animators, etc.)
Women over 24 1
Men over 24 1
Girls 15-24 11
Boys 15-24 9
Girls under 15
Boys under 15

The Goals/Objectives of Project

The goals of this project were to:

* provide the materials and support necessary for peer educators to design and prepare their own animations
* evaluate the peer educators' presentations, their readiness to teach peers, and the effectiveness of the program
* to celebrate and reward the peer educators' success, and to motivate their future participation, with a completion ceremony

Were Those Goals/Objectives Met

Each one of the project goals was met. The peer educators used the array of materials provided to create their own unique animations. They produced lesson plans, visual support materials, and games. The peer educators used evaluation forms to give feedback on one another's presentations and impressed the facilitator with their astute critiques. The peer educators' level of aptitude was evaluated with a post test on the four health topics. These tests showed a marked increase in knowledge in each of the four topics. The tests also identified a couple points which must be reiterated or perhaps better explained in future trainings.

The completion ceremony recognized 17 students as having successfully completed the program from start to end, and also 3 others for their admirable participation in some of the later sessions (these late-comers were encouraged to continue with the program next school year in order to receive completion certificates). T-shirts were distributed to reward the students' efforts and also to more easily identify them as peer educators during their future animations. The ceremony was a great way to recognize everyone's efforts

Strengths of this Project:
The evaluations were a very unique and rewarding experience for the peer educators. Creating and presenting a lesson in a team was a new type of activity for many students, and taught them how to work cooperatively. Providing structured positive criticism for their peers, the students brought up a lot of important points and held one another accountable for what they had learned during the training. The system of peer feedback was especially effective in instilling a sense of self-sufficiency in the group. This made me feel that, with more time and development, this group could remain sustainable even after my departure.

Challenges/Weaknesses of this Project:
Since all sessions were held on Saturdays, the school administration and teachers were not present, except for those invited to the final ceremony. In the future I think it's important to work closely with a school-based partner, so that the administration is kept more current as to the group's activities, and feels more invested in their success.

Final Budget:

Item Number Unit Cost Total Cost
markers 8 300 2.400
khaki paper 8 75 600
scotch tape 2 300 600
photocopies 190 15 2.850
printing certificates 17 200 3.400
soft drinks 2 4.250 8.500
tshirts 20 1.000 20.000
Total 38.350

**Total Cost: ** 38.350

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