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Table 2 Topics covered during sessions with students for all four sites

From: Promoting sexual and reproductive health among adolescents in southern and eastern Africa (PREPARE): project design and conceptual framework

Topic (number of sessions) Objectives Sample activity
Cape Town (Western Cape)
Values and aspirations (1) • Meet the facilitator and learn about the programme Students complete a worksheet involving the design of their own “roadmap” to direct their lives towards their chosen goals and participate in a group discussion about relationships and their place in the roadmap.
• Identify personal values and aspirations including how they want to treat people and be treated
Assertiveness and communication (2) • Identify four styles of communication and their consequences Students practice construction of an assertive message to convey their wish to a sexual partner, or a friend.
• Practice assertive communication skills in the context of sexual decision making
Gender and power (2) • Differentiate the concepts of sex and gender. Class discussion about student’s own experiences at home of gender norms and gender inequality.
• Critically analyse the dominant social ideas about gender power and roles.
• Explore the kind of man or woman they want to be.
Relationships (6) • Identify the characteristics of a caring relationship Students read a locally-developed photo-novella and discuss the relationship problems faced by the characters “John and Janine”: alcohol, lack of communication, pressures to have sex when they are not ready and violence.
• Identify the qualities of an intimate partner they value
• Identify and respond to relationship problems,
• Develop skills to end relationships respectfully and safely
Sexual decision making (4) • Learn about positive and negative consequences of having sex Students complete a worksheet analyzing the reasons young people report they regretted their first sex, and they develop a set of personal criteria for assessing their own readiness to have sex.
• Develop action plans to prevent having sex when they are not ready
• Identify the behaviors that put them at risk of HIV, STIs and pregnancy
• Critically analyse the risks of multiple partnerships, intergenerational partnerships, and transactional sex
• Develop skills to use a condom
Violence in different contexts (4) • Recognize types of relationship violence and warning signs Students read a story depicting a scenario in which a girl is forced by her boyfriend to have sex. They identify the underlying factors, the triggers and the opportunity factors leading to intimate partner violence.
• Understand the reasons people use violence and control to manipulate others
• Reflect on their own values and aspirations in relation to violence
• Understand the laws related to violence and sexual violence, and the legal support services
• Demonstrate risk monitoring and safety planning skills
Support (1) • Develop an understanding and empathy toward victims of violence Students read a story depicting a scenario in which a girl is forced by her boyfriend to have sex. Students discuss issues of power, blame, responsibility and human rights violations.
• Understand the importance of seeking help for violent experiences, the ways and places to get help, and how to support friends
Creating lasting change (1) • Consolidate and share what they have gained from the programme Students complete and discuss a worksheet focusing on “What am I going to do to be more respected and respectful?”
  • Reflect on their ability to act as agents of change within their schools and communities  
Dar es Salaam
Self awareness (4) • Be able to set and demonstrate commitment to life goals Students formulate a “dream tree” and visualise where he/she is and where he/she wants to be in future and make a life goal map.
• Understand steps to follow to achieve life goals They group themselves according to their goal with regard to future profession. Each group discusses how to reach that particular goal.
• Understand factors that might inhibit the achievements of life goals and find ways to overcome them
My sexuality (3) • Differentiate between sex and sexuality Students divide in small groups and identify similarities and differences in values.
• Identify sexual values
• Explain meanings and levels of sexual expression
Relationships (2) • Be able to make healthy decisions about engaging in relationships Students are divided into small mixed groups of boys and girls. Each group discusses one question about relationships.
What influences my sexuality (1) • Be able to understand the influences on sexuality Students brainstorm and list down what influences sexual behaviour.
Risk taking, sexual behaviors and consequences (5) • Recognise sexual risk behaviours amongst youth Students divide in groups and identify pictures showing different sexual risk behaviours. Students also list effects of engaging in risky sexual behaviours. Students read a letter and explain 4 challenges faced by the writer.
• Differentiate sexual risk behaviours and safe sexual behaviours
Self-protection (1) • Understand the importance of using condoms consistently and correctly Demonstration of putting on a condom using a model. Students list places where they can get condoms and correct information about condoms and their use. Students debate whether adolescents should use condoms. Students discuss different scenarios that could be challenging for them in using condoms and come up with suggestions for overcoming them.
• Recognise different types of condoms (male and female)
• Reduce misconceptions about condom use.
Decision making skills* (4) • Demonstrate decision making skills Peer modelling: The peer leaders randomly choose five students to give their experiences on decision making and how such decisions made an impact in their lives.
• Use the skills in different situations including resisting coercion or temptations to engage in sexual practices
Puberty* (2) • Recognise emotional changes which are normal during puberty and learn to respond in healthy ways Students identify one emotional feeling that they experienced during puberty and write on a strip of paper. Learners link the strips together to appreciate that there are a range of emotions connected with puberty.
Self-protection* (3) • Demonstrate different skills aimed at self- protection Students divide in small groups and list illicit drugs used by people and their effects at different levels (individual, family, school and community).
   Students discuss different types and meanings of sexual violence. Students divide in small groups to read different sexual risky scenarios and role-play safety strategies.
Limpopo (Mankweng)
Self-concept formation and self-motivation (3) • Understand the meaning of and factors influencing self-concept and self-motivation Ask students to list and categorize things they like and things they dislike. Request students to write a biography about themselves. Each student should share his or her write-up with another student in class. Have them tell the class the biography of this other student.
• Be aware of their own individuality and know that they are different from others
• Understand and develop positive attitudes towards goal setting Students work individually on setting goals, fill out worksheets and report back to class.
Development of self and society (3) • Understand physical changes, gender differences and sexual and reproductive system Students discuss challenging aspects of puberty and learn to appreciate the most exciting aspects. Discussions in same sex groups on what changes they experience.
• Develop skills to refuse sexual intercourse
Understanding sexual health (3) • Understand reproductive health, how a woman gets pregnant and STI transmission Discuss the different STIs, use of worksheet. Discuss difficult concepts and explain modes of transmission.
• Know how to avoid HIV infection by using condoms, develop a concept of healthy sexuality Use of problem-solving skills to determine what choices could be made when a teen couple discovers the girl is pregnant.
Protection against pregnancy and STIs including HIV and AIDS (3) • Identify types of contraceptives, and learn how to procure and use Students are split into groups. One contraception method is assigned to each group. Each group is provided with a birth control fact sheet, which they must study, then fill in the appropriate section of a contraceptive Methods Chart and present to the whole class/group.
• Value the consequences of delaying sexual debut Introduce the idea of abstinence or delaying sex. Role play a common situation between two young people while thinking about reasons why they should delay their sexual debut.
Social influence (3) • Understand and dispel myths and misconceptions pertaining to sexuality Students identify and discuss common myths and misconceptions pertaining to sex, and distinguish truth from fiction.
  • Identify social norms related to sexuality and how these influence sexual behaviour Role play on taking responsible decisions.
Change (1) • Identify the physical, emotional, social and psychological changes that occur during adolescence Students grouped by gender - boys alone and girls alone - are asked to identify the changes that girls and boys experience as they grow up. The changes are then categorized into: emotional, physical and social changes.
• Explore how these changes affect adolescent’s feelings about the opposite sex Brainstorming on the myths about puberty changes and provision of facts about puberty.
• Explore myths and anxieties about adolescence
Coping strategies (2) • Examine their personal feelings about puberty and the impact on self esteem Students complete questionnaires about “What do I think about myself”, and examine their self-esteem and identify areas for improvement.
• Identify strategies for coping with negative feelings about puberty
• Develop healthy coping strategies when experiencing different rates of physical, emotional, sexual and social development Students provided with negative thoughts such as: ‘I have no friends in this class’
‘I will never be successful’ and asked
to brainstorm self-talk responses such as:
‘I spend time with others during break’
‘With practice I can do it’.
Choices (1) • Define and review their values and the importance of living by those values Students are provided with a list of value statements from which they identify their values.
Personal decision making (1) • Examine the influences on personal decision making Students are guided into developing a personal timeline. Along the timeline, they mark off accomplishments they would like to achieve and events such as the ages at which they would like to:
• Examine their personal life goals and decisions
• Explore the impact of becoming sexually active on their plans • start their first job, and the occupation.
• become involved in a long term relationship or marriage
become a parent and the number of children.
Relationships (4) • Clarify understanding of the term relationships and the meaning of dating Students work in groups and discuss scenarios about the different kinds of relationships. They come up with suggestions for dealing with the situations described in the scenarios and present to the class.
• Identify the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships
• Practice skills for building, maintaining and enhancing healthy relationships
• Examine various attitudes , values and behaviours for developing meaningful interpersonal and dating relationships Students act out a skit on dating relationships. After the skit, they form groups and engage in an imagination exercise. They imagine what they would do in the situations presented. Group imaginations are then presented to the class for further discussions.
• Identify various responsibilities and consequences associated with involvement in a sexual relationship
• Determine those activities and behaviours that are high risk for STIs or pregnancy
Abstinence (2) • Examine abstinence and argue in favour of, or against it Role plays demonstrating how characters can negotiate to remain abstinent or postpone sexual activity followed. by a discussion on:
• Develop skills that promote abstinence and help to postpone sexual activity • Pressures
• Refusal skills
• Alternative actions
• Feelings of the students as they watched the role play.
Use of substances (1) • Consider the influence of substances on sexual decision making Students discuss a scenario about a student who drank excessively and was sexually assaulted by a class mate at a party.
• Identify the long term and short term effects of substances on sexual decision making
Influence of the media (1) • Understand the influence of the media and culture Students examining an advertisement and discuss a set of questions about the obvious and subliminal messages conveyed in the advertisement.
• Identify the effects of social influences on sexuality, gender roles and equity
STIs (2) • Define STI/HIV and discuss why it is important to learn about STIs/HIV In groups students discuss and complete scenarios about STI transmission and consequences of infection, including untreated infections.
  • Develop and practice STI prevention skills.  
  1. *These session in the Dar es Salaam intervention will be peer-led.