BY STYLE REPORTER
The National Aids Council (NAC) last Tuesday donated 100 bicycles to the Brotha 2 Brotha initiative in Harare province as part of the organisation’s intervention programmes meant to stop new HIV infections.
Brotha 2 Brotha is a mentorship group for adolescent boys aged between 10 and 24 years, who are usually left out on most sexual and reproductive health rights programmes.
The clubs offer sexual and reproductive health rights information through sport-centred intervention.
Through sport, young men and boys are attracted to the clubs. Club members are also identified and recruited through home visits, referrals from clinics, victim friendly unit, social welfare and schools.
These clubs offer safe, youth friendly and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information.
Research findings point to the fact that sport is a unifier for people of all social classes, tribe or religion hence relating within the group becomes easy.
The clubs serve as information centres for vulnerable young men and offer referral pathways for sexual and reproductive health rights programmes, sexually transmitted infections (STI), HIV, AIDS and gender-based violence services.
Speaking during the handover ceremony Harare Provincial Affairs minister Oliver Chidawu said the donation would increase mobility among mentors and enhance preparedness to address health emergencies.
“Young people are lagging behind as compared to other population groups in terms of HIV knowledge, including young men,” said Chidawu.
“Six hundred new infections were recorded among youths (15-24 years) and 41% of these were young men according to the Zimbabwe Health Survey.”
“Most interventions in the current response are targeting adolescent girls and young women for example Determined Resilent, Empower, Aids-free, Mentored and Safe [DREAMS] as well as Sista 2 Sista.
“HIV infection among young women predominantly comes from young men according to Zimphia 2016.”
Brotha 2 Brotha mentor for Epworth Tinotenda Nhete said the bicycles will go a long way in helping them reach out to all corners of the area.
“I want to tahnk NAC for this kind gesture as the provision of the bicycles will ease mobility in communities,” Nhete said.
“We will continue with our commitment in the communities around us so that we will reduce gender-based violence.”
Zimbabwe Community Health Interventions programmes officer Obey Mukurira said the biclcles will boost engagements between the youths and their mentors.
“It’s not easy to manoeuvre from one corner to another engaging community,” said Mukurira.
“We want to thank NAC for this great initiative to these young men who are doing a great job in communities.
“I know with Brotha 2 Brotha people are going to be supported in the communities because we want to refine these young men so that our communities are going to be better places.”