Emily Titchmarsh has just returned from Zambia as a KPMG Bright volunteer. Here she writes about the programmes she worked with whilst on placement.
Tikambe means “let’s talk” in Nyanja. Nyanja is one of Zambia’s 73 languages and is widely spoken in Lusaka. Most people in the Central and Northern provinces will understand enough Nyanja to know what Tikambe means.
Restless Development’s TIKAMBE – let’s talk” programme works across their three goals areas – sexual & reproductive health & rights, civic participation and livelihoods & employment.
Restless Development’s youth volunteers lead TIKAMBE – “let’s talk” in 25 communities across Lusaka and the Central and Northern provinces. The programme is based on an integrated approach, in partnership with BBC Media Action, combining a weekly radio show, TV programming, policy engagement events, outreach activities, peer led education and training.
TIKAMBE should be viewed in the specific context of Zambia. HIV prevalence is at 14% making Zambia one of the worst affected countries in the world. Young people are significantly and disproportionately affected by HIV and may be particularly uneducated or misguided about sexual and reproductive health and their rights. Teen pregnancies are high and very few girls return to education after falling pregnant. In what remains a relatively traditional society discussing sex, even safe sex, is still a taboo subject and historically discussions at youth level and in schools have remained minimal. In development the accepted wisdom for tackling HIV pandemics seems to be that that education and awareness is key. Yet it seems in Zambia that really talking about the issues has not been happening, or at least not been happening in a way that engages young people.