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Kicking Stigma Out of Agricultural colleges games' Report (3rd - 5th of March 2005)
Students And Youths Working on reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT)
August 01, 2005

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The Students And Youths Working on reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) was formed in 2003 as a result of the need for a reproductive health forum for the students and youths in Zimbabwe that will engender consciousness and active participation on reproductive health and creating a common platform for the students and youths for open discussion and lobbying collective positions on reproductive health issues at national level.

In brief, SAYWHAT was founded on the following objectives:-

  • Develop and advocate collective positions on policy and other related issues with special emphasis on reproductive health.
  • Promote forums for coordination and information sharing amongst students and youths
  • Raise consciousness within the students and youths on current developments within the reproductive health sector through some discussion forums.
  • Tap out consciousness amongst students and youths into active consciousness on reproductive health issues.
  • Engage the government on positions and issues of common concern amongst the students and youths on reproductive health.
  • Lobby and advocate collectively on treatment (access to drugs) and Gender issues.

These objectives resolved into one basic principle

  • To develop students and youths who are healthy, socially adjusted and economically empowered.

SAYWHAT with the financial assistance from Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) participated in the Agricultural Games with aim of kicking out stigma from Agricultural Games hence the theme Kicking Stigma out of Agricultural Colleges.

Agricultural Colleges has always been left out of a number of activities and programmes that are done in other tertiary institutions. This has caused the absence of health education or peer educators in these colleges. This maybe because of the nature of their studies but if one is to look into that can come into conclusion that they really need more of health information than anything else. The nature of their studies requires a lot of strength hence the need of good health. Besides during their on-job training (industrial attachment) they interact with the farming community where the rate of sexually transmitted diseases are rampant making it necessary for the Agric College students to be prepared for that.

SAYWHAT took the opportunity to reach out to all Agricultural colleges. There were seven colleges including the hosts Kushinga Phikelela Agric Colleges. The main objective of SAYWHAT in participating in the games was to include all the Agricultural Colleges in the fight against stigma and the reproductive health activities. SAYWHAT discovered the importance of the Agric college students in the figh against HIV/AIDS in general.

The games took place in Marondera at Kushinga Phikelela Agric College in Mashonaland East Province. The teams arrived on the 2nd of March 2005 allowing the participants to rest and some actually did some final preparations on the arrival day. The games started on the 3rd and ended on the 5th of March 2005. The colleges competed in different sports like volleyball, basketball, athletics, netball and soccer.

SAYWHAT participated strategically so that they are able to do Advocacy, Information dissemination, Peer counselling, Condom use Demonstrations and Edutainment.

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