Life Skills Education

  • Created by: ENYC Staff
  • Objectives: Youth Empowerment/ Engagement
  • Project Partners: ENYC, UNFPA

Program Info:

The Eswatini National Youth Council is expanding the Life Skills Education (LSE) Programme to Mafutseni and Shiselweni-Zombodze Inkhundla, this year for the duration of two months. This is a programme that has been running for the past 4 years in the Shiselweni Region in different constituencies, reaching over 1000 young people. The aim is to consistently reach out to a total of 180 young people from the 9 communities in both Zombodze and Mafutseni inclusive of the Nhlangano ENYC Youth Centre which is always busy with young people from the expanding town center and nearby densely populated communities.

Through the support of UNFPA and the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs in collaboration with the Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) unit under the Ministry of Health, the Council and partners have trained 18 youth facilitators to empower other young people at community level, with adequate information on sexual reproductive health and rights, through facilitating community sessions in all the chiefdoms using a LSE Manual for out of school youth,” Sibongakonkhe Mamba, ENYC Communications Officer said.

She went on to say the LSE manual was a result of UNFPA's interest in developing a comprehensive resource for coaching out of school youth on sexuality, gender, rights and related life skills for the youth.

Mamba said the main purpose is to expand the LSE programme to Zombodze and Mafutseni constituencies as these have a high youth populace facing the challenges as outlined by the State of the Youth Report 2015, and analytically observe over a period the impact in social behavioral change and communication. We still have a challenge to do with teenage pregnancy, cross generation and transactional sexual relationships, sexual transmission of infections including HIV and STIs, school dropouts, high level of unemployment, drugs and substance abuse and gender-based violence.

Highlighting sections 3, 4, 10, 77 and 81 of the SODV act during the training, the Domestic Violence & Child Protection Support (DVCP) unit reminded young people that, unlawful stalking, forcing communication after one has explicitly requested you to stop contacting them and sharing nude pictures of a partner from your past relationship on social media, is out of spite and is punishable by law.

NATICC and SWAGAA representatives reiterated that gender-based violence (GBV) cases are a growing concern amongst young people hence it is imperative for young people to get educated on the root causes of GBV to combat issues of violence and victimization. SWAGAA’s challenged the young people's mind by questioning a female's dress code. He further cautioned the youth that a woman is raped not because she is wearing a short skirt, however she is raped because that man lacks serious self-control and has failed to respect their female counterpart.

The training and the whole program therefore ensures that young people have the opportunity to explore the impact of ‘rigid’ gender norms on their identities and behaviour and to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will enable them to form healthy relationships based on equality and respect, Sibongakonkhe said.

Gugu Maziya, from Mafutseni Inkhundla said the program will empower the youth with skills to negotiate safer sex practices to reduce teenage pregnancy and high prevalence of HIV rate, improve access to sexual and reproductive health information and services and further help them lead healthier lives.

Implementing partners include; FLAS, Ministry of Health (SRH Unit), NATICC, MSF, DCS unit, Crime Prevention unit and JA.