PROGRAMS & SERVICES
Partnerships for authentic experiences.
AD operates with an “education through entertainment” philosophy. Youth come to the center for its many entertainment facilities and activities. There are pool tables and board games, a gym for athletes to train, and a video room where kids can watch cartoons and educational videos. A resource centre with materials for studying and researching is available. There is even a music room where aspiring artists come to play instruments, practise, and record new songs.
Additionally, an information desk is always on display where the youth can access IEC (information, education and communication) materials and talk with their fellow youth. Africa Directions has peer educators on staff that are responsible for supervising the various “stations” (i.e., pool room, resource centre, video room, information table) the kids access. Here they interact with the youth and give information in the form of “10-minute talks.” Given kid’s short attention span and aversion to lecturing, AD has found peer educators are the key to success as there is a given trust and respect.
We work alongside you for giving youth a chance
Our JourneyAll these programs are evidence of the hard work that AD staff, mainly young people recruited from the very communities that AD serves, have been putting in, wholeheartedly trying to meet the needs of youth with a holistic approach. These successes have also been made possible with help from the various partners who have believed in the dream and work of AD.
AD’s strongest channel of information sharing and dissemination is done through its team of peer educators. This is a group of young people who have come together to share information about HIV/AIDs, various life-skills, and other issues pertaining to youth. Africa Directions plans numerous workshops, training, and exchanges for these youth to give them the latest health information, link them with other organisations, and strengthen their facilitation skills. The group meets on a bi-weekly basis in order to refresh their knowledge, learn from specialised and/or successful people, and have fun with one another. The peer educators work hand-in-hand with Grassroots Soccer (an NGO which uses soccer to educate on HIV/AIDS) to develop interactive methodologies which they use when conducting outreaches in the community; they visit schools, churches, markets, and other popular places to sensitize their peers on HIV/AIDS prevention.
Since 2009, Africa Directions has been partnering with Marie Stopes International Zambia (MSIZ) to help the community in Mtendere to access family planning services and provide reproductive health information. MSIZ is a non-governmental organisation that provides family planning, male circumcision, pregnancy tests, pregnancy crisis, counseling & STI screening services. AD’s role is to facilitate outreaches to community members on family planning services and make referrals to the clinic which is located at AD. Peer educators go out into high density areas, such as market places, to mobilize young women and men. There is a trained nurse counsellor who advices men and women on their family planning options and provides those services on a free or low cost basis. Once a month, AD invites the local clinic to come and conduct their under 5 clinic within the centre. During this time, there are also lawyers from International Justice Mission to offer free legal advice.
One of AD’s main goals is to promote gender equality by developing young girls who are well-informed, confident, and empowered to take the lead. The Girls’ Groups meet on a weekly basis to discuss issues that affect them as women and provide encouragement to one another. They incorporate fun activities such as picnics, cooking lessons, aerobics, and dance lessons to attract more girls to their meetings. The members go for weekly outreaches to area schools to form girls clubs which they then help sustain with information, skills development, and social support. Furthermore, Africa Directions has a Girls’ Day on a quarterly basis to attract more girls to the centre and promote women’s issues
AD offers Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services to all members of the community in an easily accessible and highly confidential manner. For those who test positive, the counsellors make referrals to the local clinic for ART (antiretroviral therapy) and encourage them to join the support group at AD or with another network. Peer educators & drama members help to sensitize the community on the the VCT process & the importance of knowing one’s status.
There are a number of sporting activities available at the centre such as basketball, football, karate, boxing, and netball. Team members receive training from coaches and participate in tournaments and friendly competitions. Many successes have arisen out of this training facility, such as Esther Phiri (world renowned female boxing champion) and Fwayo Tembo (international professional footballer).
This is open seven days a week, providing a safe and educative environment for young ones before and after school. It is run by a mentor who gives basic lessons in mathematics and literacy and leads the kids in numerous fun activities such as art, music, and games. For many of the children, this is the only schooling available to them since their families are unable to provide uniforms, books, and other school requirements.