Spreading the word about the birds and the bees
Deaf young people in Uganda are missing out on vital sex education and health information because they can’t communicate with peers, teachers and health workers. This leaves them vulnerable to pregnancy, abuse, exploitation and disease (AIDS-related illnesses are the leading cause of adolescent mortality in Africa).
So, we’ve launched our Birds and the Bees project and in April 2017 we invited 34 young deaf people to help us decide how it should be developed. To help spread the word, we’re training deaf young people to be ‘peer educators’ to give advice, counselling and training to others about issues such as relationships, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. As well as educating others, the project – with our partners Uganda National Association of the Deaf and Sign Health Uganda – will give peer educators a sense of purpose and confidence, as well as communication and leadership skills.
The consultation sessions led to discussions about gaps in participants’ knowledge and how they get information. Key recommendations from the sessions included: creating educational materials which are deaf friendly, ensuring everything is accessible to those who can’t read or sign, and considering how to get the information to hard to reach deaf young people who are at higher risk.
The report from the consultation is available to download as PDF from our information and resources.