February being the month of love is a time to celebrate valentine’s day, remember loved ones and is the perfect time to sensitize the youth about the usage of condoms. Youth and adolescents still experience a lot of stigma when it comes to purchase, condom use and don’t know how to use a condom correctly. In the spirit of international condom day which is an informal holiday observed on 13th February in conjunction with valentine’s day on 14th February, Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum shared the importance of love in our lives by organizing the condom party under the theme; restock and condomize at Baristos bar and restaurant. The condom party attracted many participants because of the unique approach used to increase awareness of adolescents and young people on how to break condom stigma and to promote correct and consistent condom use.

 

Change champions pose for a picture at Baristos bar and restaurant

The bar setting helped us interact with young people who make decisions under the influence of alcohol and are often times at a high risk of having un protected sex, which in turn brings consequences such as un wanted pregnancies, STI and HIV infection. A lot of the research we have carried out and continue to carry out shows that sexuality education among adolescents and young people plays an important role in increasing knowledge and empowering young people to make informed decisions regarding their sexuality and reproductive health and seek and access sexual reproductive services. This directly boosts their ability to plan and avoid unwanted pregnancies, HIV infection and lowers the rate of maternal and child deaths.  The party was attended by participants who are in school, out of school, those within the nearby community and those who came to the bar to have a good time.

There was a lot of edutainment, games that were used to share accurate and appropriate messages on contraception, HIV prevention, positive living and prevention of unwanted pregnancies among others.  The memory cards game helped participants to know the various types of family planning methods while the condom quizzes addressed the myths around condoms and their use. The quizzes had over 20 questions each and attracted over 20 groups of people in the bar including the DJs and waitresses. The winning teams received gift hampers and encouraged to share the knowledge to other people even after the party is over. By the end of the night over 7 boxes of condoms had been given out to the invited participants and those met at the venue. #Restockandcondomize

Participants and change champions taking part in the memory games.