AfricAid’s Health Symposium is a day-long Kisa Project event which aims to provide knowledge about health issues to Kisa Scholars. It is optional and very popular among the young female students.
On February 18, 2017, 170 Kisa Scholars from 8 Partner Schools in the Arusha Region received the critical, life-long benefits of this health education. Group training sessions were held in two locations: Arusha Secondary School and Moringe Sokoine Secondary School in Monduli. (In addition, 410 Scholars from the Kilimanjaro Region attended Health Symposiums, for a total reach of 580 girls.)
The event is successful because actual health professionals such as doctors and nurses are brought in to provide expert knowledge about alcohol and drug abuse, pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. The Scholars learned a lot from these health experts, including making good decisions, protection from early pregnancy and how to help people who are drug abusers or HIV positive.
Neema, one of the Kisa Scholars who attended the training, commented “I have now realized that parents play a big role to help their children not to make bad decisions or engage in risky behavior which can lead them to either early pregnancy or alcohol and drug abuse.” Neema said she will be a good mother who will make sure that her children are aware of health issues from an early age.
Another Kisa Scholar, Anna, spoke of how the training helped her understand that different myths are incorrect. She explained, “I always believed that a small amount of alcohol would not be bad for your health. I learned from the training the true effects of taking any amount of alcohol or drugs.”
Despite the success of the event, Scholars were not able to ask all of their questions because of limited time. Discussions about health related topics continue in regular Kisa classes with their Mentors. Kisa Mentors create a very safe space for the girls to ask questions and express themselves. In this way, more students will be able to learn how to take care of their bodies (and their children’s…when they have them).
With this worthwhile event, AfricAid believes that our Kisa graduates will be more informed about health issues and be able to spread their knowledge to others helping to solve challenges facing them and their communities.