On February 6, 2023, the Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum (UYAHF) hosted a team from Care International Uganda led by the Sexual Reproductive Health Economic Empowerment Supporting Out of School Adolescent Rights and Skills (SheSOARs) Chief of Party, Rebecca Davidson at its field office in Terego district. The CARE team was also joined by the SHE SOARS youth advisory members Amanda Banura and Patrick Karekezi.

The one-day visit aimed at monitoring UYAHF`S implementation of the SheSOARS project’s progress since its inception, meeting with district leadership, paying a visit to the office of the prime minister (OPM) at the settlement, and interacting with the youth groups and peer leaders that were formed in the communities.

SHE SOARS is a seven-year project targeting Out Of School Adolescent girls to access their Sexual Reproductive Health needs and Rights. The program is a CAD project that aims to increase the enjoyment of health-related human rights for women and girls rights holders particularly out of school adolescent girls in Uganda. It is funded by the Government of Canada (Global Affairs)

In Uganda, the SheSOARS project is being implemented in four districts of Terego, Madi-Okollo, Arua City, and Kampala, under a consortium partnership of UYAHF, Naguru Teenage and Information Health Centre, Restless Development, and Reach Out Mbuya.

The visit kicked off with a courtesy call to the Terego district office, where both the UYAHF team and the CARE team met the District Health Educator and the probation Officer.

During the meeting, Rebecca Davidson shared more details about the project with the district leadership and also called for their input on how to improve the project’s implementation and the kind of support they needed.

“Your contribution and opinions towards the project are vital.” We need to work together through strategies like linking project objectives into your key SRHR indicators. This will ease implementation and increase the chances of achieving project objectives and district SRHR targets,” she added.

The SheSOARS Chief of Party, Rebecca Davidson (left) share more about the SheSOARS project in a meeting with the district leadership and during the courtesy visit at the Terego district headquarters

While giving his remarks, Mr. Olema Erphas, the District Health Educator, lauded the #SheSOARS project for its unique approach of using peer facilitators, noting that the approach is the best, especially when working with adolescents.

Mr Olema, who pledged the district’s full support to the project, noted that there was a need to strengthen the capacity of health workers in communication and counseling skills for the provision of youth-friendly services to reduce stigma and increase young people’s access to SRHR information and services.

“I call upon partners to share quarterly reports and updates of the project with the district so that we are aware of its progress. This will help us provide support where it is needed and also feed into our district performance indicator on adolescents’ SRHR,” he added.

While giving an update on the progress of the project so far during the meeting, Winnie Apio, the Programmes Manager at UYAHF, assured the team that, through the #SheSOARS project, UYAHF, with support from other partners, will strive to see Terego become the top district in the country, not just in terms of SRHR service delivery but also in terms of reaching the national indicator of improving adolescent health.

During a meeting at the Rhino camp settlement’s Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the camp chief Commandant, Mr Tahebwa Nicholas, revealed that the settlement’s population currently stands at 37,000, with more than 1,000 refugees arriving monthly.

He notes that this rising population puts more pressure on the already inadequate SRHR services in the settlement.

“We have been working with CARE for a very long time, but we still need more interventions from development partners, and the SheSOARS project comes at the right time.” “I am hoping it is going to supplement what other Development Partners are doing in areas of SRHR and skills enhancement,” Tahebwa added.

The team later met with 86 young people and 3 peer educators who shared how they have been involved in the project and how they want the project to position them in efforts to address the SRHR challenges they are facing.

The young people also held several separate sessions with the different teams, where they held discussions and freely shared ideas on some of the approaches the program can take to better address their issues.