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Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future Plus Cluster Coordinators oriented on their tasks

Cluster Coordinator the UNESCO Project, “Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future Plus” (O3 Plus) attended a 3 day orientation workshop 1-3 February 2021. The orientation meeting introduced the Cluster Coordinators to UNESCO operations, policies and procedures. The cluster coordinators join the UNESCO ROSA team so assist in the implementation of the O3 Plus project. 

The O3 Plus project seeks to empower and give the young adults comprehensive access and information relating to sexuality education. 

The orientation programme offered an opportunity for the cluster coordinators to be acquainted with UNESCO rules and objectives whilst familiarising with the project. The programme discussed the 2022 work plan including key priority activities and budget. 

Speaking during the workshop the UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa Prof. Lidia Arthur Brito reiterated the importance of safeguarding the rights of young people particularly those who are vulnerable to access youth friendly SRH services within their tertiary institutions.

The three-day training was attended by a number of participants including six cluster coordinators, UNESCO Regional Director, the Regional advisor (Dr Machawira) amongst other key note speakers from NATCOM, ZIMCHE, MoHTESITD and Dean’s forum chairperson. 

To ensure the cluster coordinators would be able to grasp concepts and issues of note, interactive question and answer sessions in addition to the presentations were held.

Opening the workshop Dr Patricia Machawira acknowledged and debriefed the attendees on UNESCO background and Education for Health and Wellbeing strategy of implementation. She emphasised that the O3 Plus project circled around 4 main pillars: “Institutional strengthening for stability, Evidence building research development, Safe inclusive campus environment, Student health and wellbeing”. The Regional advisor solidified the need to partner with existing Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) service providers within institutions rather than compete whilst having the same objectives. “Partner and engage with existing systems don’t oppose “ 

The orientation programme inducted the cluster coordinators into the O3 Plus project on key start up activities as well to introduce key project stakeholders. The discussions established key challenges and barriers that affect young adults in accessing Sexual Reproductive Health services (SRH). Some of which included access to online education, ownership of resources between UNESCO and the institutions, database and work plan creation. To which Professor Dzvimbo concurred with the need to promote open education and increase band-width for connectivity for students if blended learning is implemented.