Members of the YALI Network are working in their communities to improve health awareness. Alport Ndebele is a YALI member who describes his work as a peer educator. He leads youth programs on reproductive health in communities in the Matabeleland region of Zimbabwe.
I lead a team of youth leaders under the National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe. I operate in Bulawayo urban and rural districts, running programs and activities that have a sole goal of bringing innovation through involvement and volunteerism.
This is a community that is short on education, information and communication of all sorts. We want to try to cover that gap by bringing in social activities where we disseminate and discuss health information.
We trained a total of 20 peer educators with communication and public speaking skills, and have boosted their esteem and confidence in doing so. They stand before their peers and educate each other on sensitive issues such as sexual reproductive health, a topic never discussed in some families. We have held events like sports galas and quiz competitions that have attracted over 200 youths per event in rural settings.
We now even have clubs formed at the village level that meet on a weekly basis and continue to share ideas and cooperation for the betterment of their community.
My membership in the YALI Network is helping me learn more about other related activities and policies relating to social development and improvement of my community. Most of all, I, myself, gain inspiration from resources being shared in this network.
Can the YALI Network create social exchange programs for youths to meet, share and exchange ideas with other youth leaders from different parts of the world with common goals? It is possible to move a mountain by shovelling pebbles off its base. I believe in humble beginnings, hence YALI might just be a space that will benefit my group.
Alport Ndebele conducts health education programs in Zimbabwe, affiliated with a nongovernmental organization called Hope for a Child in Christ.