SERAC-Bangladesh along with Pathfinder International, under USAID Shukhi Jibon project arranged two foundation training for Mymensingh and Dhaka VPLs in Rajendrapur from 19 to 24 August 2021 by ensuring a friendly and feasible environment, to provide soft skills (interpersonal communication, organizing outreach campaigns, counseling on sexual reproductive health and mental wellbeing) to the 40 VPLs of Dhaka, Narayanganj, Mymensingh and Dhaka.
After the recruitment of the VPLs the foundation training had been arranged with 40 volunteer peer leaders from specific 4 districts to train them on strategic communication, organizing the outreach campaigns, counseling on sexual reproductive health and mental health in order to perform and implement the set of activities at the field level. The first day (22 Aug, 2021) started with a bingo game which helped them to introduce themselves with each other. Furthermore, some important terms were explained to them (Volunteer Peer Leader, Adolescents, Adolescent Friendly Health Corners etc.) along with the importance of being a VPL and their contribution to the AFHCs, their Job responsibilities etc. Sessions were conducted through a role-play activity with the participation of two VPLs on the roles and responses of VPLs and the service takers by Tasnia Ahmed, Senior Program Officer, SERAC-Bangladesh and on communication such as: Intrapersonal and Interpersonal communication; miscommunication; modality of communication and maintaining chain of communication and barriers of effective communication by SM Shaikat, Executive Director, SERAC-Bangladesh. They were also taught about the use of social media (tips and tricks, arranging social media campaigns, social media tools etc.), body languages and dress-up of the VPLs in the centers and through a game they were taught active listening by Jisan Mahmud, SRHR Consultant.
The second day (23 Aug, 2021) started with a recap of the first day followed by a group activity on physical and psychological changes of adolescent boys and girls, importance of sexual decision making and through role-plays the VPLs defining healthy relationships. Sessions were conducted on “confidentiality and it is connection with mental health” and the practice of leadership by SM Shaikat, Executive Director, SERAC-Bangladesh. After lunch the VPL’s shared stories related to myths as the consultant explained truths and myths and discussed the existing myths in our society on sexuality and health. Later on, through an exercise VPLs had to identify Truth or Myth of statements on adolescent physical changes.
Following the recap of the second day the last day of the training started and after a warm up sessions on “sex and gender” (difference, equity and equality, gender blind and gender aware etc.) and Gender based violence (gender practices, Types of gender based violence including physical, psychological, social and sexual etc.) were conducted by Dr. Shamima Parveen and Sohrab Hussain respectively. After lunch Dr. Abu Jamil Faisel, FP2030 Country Focal Point Bangladesh conducted a session on contraceptives and family planning programs, family planning methods available in Bangladesh and advantages and disadvantages of different contraceptive methods. Lastly, Dr. Manjur Hossain, Assistant Director (MCH), MCH- Services Unit, Directorate General of Family Planning and Tasnia Ahmed, Senior Program Officer, SERAC-Bangladesh conducted the session on global and national perspective on adolescence and the components of (AFHS) mentioned in the presentation of DGFP compared with current scenario. The closing session was carried out by SM Shaikat, Executive Director, SERAC-Bangladesh through which the training ended.
Followed by the foundation training, 20 Volunteer Peer teams will be formed with 10 members in each who will be responsible for helping the VPLs in arranging and organizing campaigns and promoting the AFH centers. There will be an open call for application in the four districts for this Volunteer Peer team and through interview 10 peers will be selected.
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