Photo: Adolescent males engage in fair-play soccer at the Child Life Line centre in Lagos during the YEDI SKILLZ Guyz intervention.
Recently at the Child Life Line Centre, Gbagada, Lagos, it was time for Practice 9 which focuses on consent and sexual violence, and the consequences of rape and sexual violence. During the session tagged YES MEANS YES and anchored by SKILLZ Coach Ikedi, these young boys who are beneficiaries of our SKILLZ Guyz model were able to define consent; identify 2 ways to communicate with their partner to ensure safe, consensual sex; recognize what constitutes sexual violence and the consequences of sexual violence.
At the end of the session that was interspersed with fair-play soccer, fun energizers, and football metaphors, these young boys went home with these KEY MESSAGES:
-Respect your partner’s NO.
-Do not pressure them to have sex
-Do not have sex with them if they are unable to say YES!
Why SKILLZ Guyz?
No doubt, sexual violenceconstitutes a public health problem and human right concern the world over, little wonder it is increasingly attracting global attention. Statistics show that globally, about 150 million girls and 73 million boys are sexually abused annually and that 1 in 13 males and 1 in 5 females experience sexual abuse or sexual violence victimization before the age of 18 years. A research published in Reseacrchgate shows that by the age of 16, 1 out of 4 adolescents has experienced coerced sex, and at 18 years, more than 1 in 3 have been victimized.
In Nigeria, three of the main findings from the 2015 Nigeria Men and Gender Equality Survey (NIMAGES) highlight an urgent need to address sexual and reproductive health (SRH), gender norms and violence. The survey found widespread agreement with restrictive norms about gender roles and acceptance of violence against women. Toughness and sexual performance were central to notions of masculinity and undermine the health of both men and women.
A gap exists in addressing the unique sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of adolescent males, and sometimes, it appears no attention is paid to the males. The YEDI SKILLZ Guyz curriculum was designed to address these issues.
The SKILLZ Guyz is one of YEDI’s models targeted at adolescent boys (aged 13 to 19) and tailored to provide information on HIV prevention, Sexual, Reproductive Health, gender inequality issues, substance abuse, risk-taking behaviours, and sexual violence.The platform is a safe space for vital discussions about male-related issues.
In partnership with Child Life Line, a charitable organization with a mission to support and enable vulnerable young persons at risk or in need, to develop into self-reliant, self-supporting, independent and responsible citizens who are empowered through formal and/or vocational education and reconnected with family, YEDI implements the SKILLZ Guyz programme at the Gbagada centre of Child Life Line where adolescent street boys are empowered with relevant SRH knowledge.