With COVID-19 precautions forcing the closing of schools throughout Zimbabwe, the GRS team knew that it was critical to ensure that youth were still able to get accurate sexual and reproductive health information facilitated by trusted GRS Coaches. As part of enhanced programming, GRS Zimbabwe rolled out three new hard-copy tools: SKILLZ Core Magazine (for adolescents ages 9-14), SKILLZ Boy Magazine (aimed specifically at adolescent boys and young men) and My SKILLZ Girl Diary (for adolescent girls and young women).
The magazines are ideal as they can be given to each participant to read in his or her own time, and they have enabled GRS Zimbabwe to reach out to both rural and urban youth, who may or may not have phone access. The magazines are interactive, fun and infused with GRS culture. Participants go through each activity and fill in questions and notes. They are able to check in with their Coaches at regular intervals, leading to further learning opportunities as they review the lessons. Importantly, parents are encouraged to support children at home as they work through the magazines, which has created a platform for meaningful discussions within families around sensitive topics.
The feedback so far has been very positive, with participants citing the fact that the magazines are interactive, full of useful information, and something they can keep and refer to in the future. GRS Zimbabwe has shared their learnings and insights with the entire organization, as we look to adopt these tools for other local contexts going forward.