YoSpace Peer Mobilizer Success
Oscar works as a YoSpace peer mobilizer for PHAU, specifically working with the Guardian Angel International Medical Centre, Buwenge, Jinja. He joined PHAU after hearing radio adverts, and through discussing the role he claims to have been inspired and thus started his career as a peer mobilizer. The YoSpace project is aimed at educating young people with accurate sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) information and referring them to YoSpace health facilities. As a peer educator, Oscar’s primary activities include door-to-door mobilization and referrals to health facilities.
Becoming a YoSpace Peer Mobilizer
Before YoSpace peer mobilizers go out into the community, they attend training sessions. These sessions aim to equip peer mobilizers with the necessary information and skills needed to succeed. Oscar told us that the most beneficial skills he learned through this training were client handling and creating and maintaining relationships. He learnt how to approach a client and convince those in need to go for a referral at a YoSpace health facility. In addition, Oscar benefitted from understanding the relationship between himself, the client, and the service provider; using this understanding to form linkages between them.
Being an passionate and committed Peer Mobilizer
We asked Oscar why he is passionate about peer education, and why he feels that it is a necessary duty. He told us that family planning and the availability of SRHR services are essential for young women. Firstly, in his experience young women have many things they would like to pursue in the future. Therefore, when they get referred to family planning services by peer mobilizers they are taking a step to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy. Unwanted pregnancy could cause these young women’s dreams to die. In Oscar’s opinion by using family planning “they are going to fulfil all the hopes that they have”. Secondly, Oscar views family planning as a form of future planning. It gives young women autonomy over their bodies and the path of their life. By referring young women to family planning, Oscar is helping them to plan for and protect their futures. Oscar is so passionate about his work, and he gave us an insight into what is his motivation to work:
“What motivates me to work as a peer educator is at least trying to see young girls’ life change in that, at least, we have to work as much as possible to give or to bring a positive impact to the youth, so that at least they have a good life”
How did YoSpace work?
As a motivated and passionate peer educator, Oscar succeeded in sharing information and referring young women to family planning services. He recounted one time that he was able to convince someone to go for a family planning referral at a YoSpace health facility. There was one client who needed family planning but was hesitant due to cost implications. Oscar noted that traditionally patients have to pay upfront before they receive a service. However, with PHAU’s help, Oscar was able to offer this particular client a free of charge family planning referral.
In case the YoSpace project ends, Oscar proved eager to continue his work and laid out his plan for us. Firstly, he ensures that he keeps the contact details of all of his clients. Secondly, Oscar continues to keep in contact with his referral clients and continues to counsel them and share information. In reference to success referrals and the end of the project, Oscar said:
“If the contact is don’t it doesn’t also mean that the information I have in my mind is done, so I keep sensitizing them, counselling them and so that they can have a better future”
Oscar is a prime example of a hardworking and committed peer mobilizer and educator. His devotion to the cause and his clients is admirable and we hope that he can continue his work after the YoSpace project ends.