FLAS is known for her youth friendly services allowing young people to access information and services they require. During the organizations third quarter (July – September 2018) more than 1 800 through mobile outreach and more than 3 800 youths aged 10 – 24 years were reached with comprehensive sexuality education and HIV related sessions. The is a need to increase reach among young people as they are amongst vulnerable populations having high unemployment rate, as well as negative/poor health indicators. The statistics presented show that with adequate resources, it would possible to reach more young people.
FLAS operates five (5) youth centres across the country, one in Manzini; two in Shiselweni region (Nhlangano- in partnership with Eswatini National Youth Council and another at Mantambe), one in Hhohho region located in Mbabane and one in Lubombo located at Big Bend (in partnership with Illovo). These are used as forums to reach young people with information and life skills development such as comprehensive sexuality education and public speaking. Youth centres therefore contribute to the improvement of quality of life for young people through:
• Information which enables them to make informed decisions about their sexuality and healthy life styles
• Improved access to SRH & HIV services resulting in improved health such as reduced unwanted pregnancies; knowledge of HIV status; early treatment of infections and more.
ACTIVITIES Youth activities at FLAS are coordinated by Youth Affairs Office located at Manzini headquarters. The youth centre components are as follows:
• Coordination of youth regional activities
• Youth sexual and reproductive health services including counselling
• Education and skills building activities
• Recreational activities
The functions of these components are as follows:
a. Coordination of youth activities
• Youth centres facilitate and coordinate youth activities taking place in schools and communities in all the regions in the country
• Each youth centre has a Site Advisory committee that is responsible for the coordination of the activities. Each committee, consist of a Site Coordinator and four other members responsible for Peer education; community outreach activities; clinic services; recreational activities; livelihoods etc
• Youth peer educators at the various youth centres implement mainly education activities and compile monthly reports
• School based and community based peer educators submit their reports to Youth centres who in turn compile Youth Centre regional reports
• On a monthly basis Youth site committees meet to share activities of the month and submit their report to the FLAS Youth Affairs Unit at FLAS headquarters. On a quarterly basis, all site committees undertake a quality performance review meeting that is facilitated by the Youth Affairs unit at FLAS.
b. Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Services including Counselling
• This service is provided to assist youth in recognizing their potential, personality, skills, abilities and potential of emotional, cognitive and behavioural. Session may be held with clinic or program staff, depending on the issue at hand.
• Clinical sessions and services are provided by nurses at the nearby clinics. Some of the youth centres are attached to clinics, therefore, youth centre serve as a waiting area.
• Counselling provides guidance and support on youth sexual and reproductive health issues such as weight management, relationship problems (peer conflict; parent-child relationship), and substance abuse aspects.
• The youth centre works in partnership with other agencies such as the Ministry of health, Ministry of Education and Training, AMICAALL and Swaziland Action Group against Abuse (SWAGAA)
• Referrals for further management on issues is also provided
• All service providers are trained in Youth Friendly Services.
c. Education and Skill Building Activities
• Activities undertaken in the form of Youth Talk, Youth Chat, talks and workshops that cover the skills of youth and reproductive health.
• This educational activity undertaken by experts and Youth Peer Educators dealing with youth sexuality, youth healthy eating, youth identity development and youth social issues.
• Social media is used to interact with young people and disseminate information.
• Computer lessons (depending on availability of a tutor) • Dance classes (depending on availability of tutor)
• Livelihood program: Various income generating projects are implemented in the sites depending on availability of resources. Existing programs include a tuck shop; theatre dance group
d. Recreational activities
• Young people enjoy recreational activities. Therefore, in an effort to create healthy minds and keep young people busy, all youth Centre’s have recreational components. There are in-door activities that take place such as table tennis; pool; board games and more.
• Apart from that, the FLAS Youth Centres also provide ancillary activities such as, aerobics, sports and others for youth spend their time constructively.