If you haven’t heard yet (and we are sure you have), season 4 is here. Not soap operas, TV series or reality shows. It is the 4th edition of the much anticipated Peer Educators Academy, more harmoniously known as #PEA2017 that debuted yesterday at Victoria University Kampala, marked by fun, vibrancy and groundbreaking youthful commitment to the cause of youth for youth in imparting Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) and HIV/AIDS knowledge.
The academy started at around 9:00 am, but the participants were too eager to wait that long. They started trickling in as early as 7:30 am, to a well-organized venue, spiced up with a sensational music selection. We were already on ground to welcome them, and when the start time rolled by, the numbers had grown solidly.
Forget the primary school-esque introductions of raising hands, standing up and saying your names. We went conversational, pairing up and not just knowing names, but stretching to nicknames location as we want to be “our brother’s keepers”and learning each other’s indigenous greetings. The sessions were fun. The facilitators Bakshi Asuman Maureen Andinda and Amon Mulyowa cracked stereotypical jokes that got the participants throwing their shyness to the wind. We even took the bonding further, forming our teams under which we will work through the academy. We formed anthems, slogans and even drew logos, in just under 30 minutes!
A vital sneak peek into the core of the academy came in through a pretest given to the participants, to gauge the knowledge they have on Sexual Reproductive Health, Communication, Life Skills, Drug Abuse and Dependence, Relationships, Pregnancy and Contraceptive use. before the fine tuning of the academy takes effect on them.
The peer participants have already shown appreciation for the academy. Juliet Katushabe thought the team “was so cool and fun”. “You are so cool and friendly and cooperative, and I’m sure it will get even better” she added.
Others found the gold hidden within them. Penelope for example couldn’t believe she could gerrit on a rap before, but was surprised when she threw a whole verse! As for Frank, the nervousness he came with effortlessly left him, and a cool fun guy he had not known himself to be was revealed. They all voiced their eagerness to learn more on #SRHR.
Interestingly, this was just the first day! There are 25 more to go, and we all can’t wait for what a fun and learning experience this will turn out to be. Follow updates on social media via the hashtag #PEA2017