“didi dai”: Well Known Peer Educators

Giving a short summary on didi dai program, Ipas Nepal had been implementing youth intervention project in two districts of Nepal: Kailali and Rupandehi with support and coordination from the Department of Health Services, Family Health Division (FHD). The main purpose of this project is to enhance the ability and rights of young people (15-24) years to prevent unwanted pregnancy and obtain safe abortion in both working districts of Nepal. As a part f the community based intervention, young peer educators also referred as didi dai volunteers were trained in sexual and reproductive health and rights to provide peer education and community sensitization activities such as street theater, organizing classes, and door to door education sessions. One of the major roles of Peer Educators is to refer young people and women for reproductive health services including comprehensive abortion care (CAC). To increase the access to CAC information and referral, health providers, Health Facility Management and Operation Committee (HFMOC) members and community leaders are oriented on youth friendly reproductive health services and the peer education program. An additional component to this intervention was creating Quality Improvement (QI) teams consisting of youth and adults, which was only implemented at three health facilities (HF) of Kailali district. These QI teams were created with the intention of improving the quality of reproductive health services provided to young people and to strengthen youth-adult partnerships at the health facility level.

In June 30, 2014 the youth intervention project in both the districts phased out. Therefore Ipas Nepal conducted two days dissemination workshop of “didi dai” program to its peer leaders on 9-10th June, 2014. The main aim of the workshop is to disseminate findings from the evaluation of didi dai program to peer leaders and their participation resulting for input on developing recommendations based on the findings as peer leaders are both right-holders and duty-bearers of the project.

In addition to increasing the knowledge and skills in SRHR of our youth participants, creating space in the project for youth participation and leadership has been a key goal.  To continue working towards this goal,youth participants’ understanding of the findings from the evaluation and their participation and input on developing recommendations based on the findings is crucial as they are both right-holders and duty-bearers of this project.  To increase youth participation and inclusion we are proposing to conduct a two-day peer leader dissemination workshop.

 The dissemination workshop of “didi dai” program to peer leaders held on 9th-10th June, 2014 was organized by Ipas Nepal. It was attended by District Public Health Officer, Rupandehi:  Mr. Rishi Prasad lamichane, Public Health Nurse: Ms. Gita Neupane, FPAN Butwal including President Mr. Dinesh Kumar Shrestha Joshi, Secretary Mr. Niraj Lacoul, Branch Manage Mr. Mohan Basyal, FPAN Kailali Branch Manager Mr. Chet Raj Joshi and President of NAMUNA Ms. Gyanu Poudyal. There was presence of representatives of partner organizations, District program officers, field officers and more than 100 peer leaders from Kailali and Rupandehi. The partner organizations were also handed with certificate of appreciation.

There were more than 100 peer leaders present in the workshop. They were divided into ten groups and representatives of partner organizations were requested to facilitate their groups as per name list. The main objective of preparing mural is to create a project share mural, in which peer leaders can fill with words and drawings about their experience and impact this project has had in their community.

During the workshop there was a question about sustainability of the program and future of peer educators. During the panel discussion with representatives of partner organizations, they promised to include the peer leaders as a part of their regular volunteers and their core youth program will involve the didi dai peer educators. Peer educators during two days workshop also prepared recommendations for addressing SRHR as main component of Health to government and line agencies.

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