Tanzania: Teaching Youths Sex Education Through Animation, Art
Harakati za Lucy is an animation series that explores the life of a young Tanzanian girl who faces different challenges growing up and how she manages to confront them.
In one episode where Lucy is pregnant, the show examines how boys and men can provide support for teenage girls in the same circumstances.
Lucy lives with her father and uncle and finds it difficult to relate to them about her experience.
Harakati za Lucy was created by youth-led NGO, TAI Tanzania.
The producer of the show, Gwamaka Mwabuka said Harakati za Lucy tackles various topics around sex including early marriage.
“They had five statements that they wanted all youth that has innovative ideas in this area, they should come together and build the idea up so that they can become stronger and then get the seed fund to be able to implement the idea, he said.”
The programme recently won a grant of 6,000 US dollars through the Amua Accelerator – a programme that supports solutions around Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) and supported by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
The series will be screened online and on television and will be available in print as a comic book and in a mobile app.
The content is built through discussions with young people about real life situations.
Amua offers creators a six-month training programme, seed funding and skills development like they do for various other entrepreneurs working on youth-friendly initiatives.
Similar groups in the country have come up with art solutions that address family planning, maternal health and other population development issues.
“It’s going to help the young people, but it is also going to help, I mean increasing the access to sexual reproductive health, but also addressing som e of the bottlenecks which are affecting the provision of sexual reproductive health information, education and services,” said Felister Bwana, a programme specialist in health systems at UNFPA.
Around 19 percent of Tanzania’s populations is between 15-24 years old and UNFPA said failure to invest in the youthful population could have an implication on the country’s health and development plans.
About 500 kilometres from Dar es Salaam the Mkwawa arts group is using drama and music to educate audiences on reproductive health and sexuality.
The programme has already supported 2,700 young people through boot camps and sexual reproductive health information sessions across East Africa.