Straight Talk Foundation

HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION Boys perform role play in their Straight Talk club. The real life drama is that boys have a long period of sexual acitivity between first sex at about 18 and marriage four to ten years later. Delaying sexual debut, reducing partner turn over, and consistent and correct condom use are critical behaviours for boys.

is a Ugandan NGO, formed in 1997. It grew out of the teen newspaper, Straight Talk which started in 1993. STF is based in Kampala but has youth centres in Gulu and Kitgum. STF has a staff of about 80, including 18 journalists, five trainers, 23 counsellors, four researchers and innumerable youth workers.

produced over 11 million newspapers, broadcast over 3000 radio shows and worked with over 3000 teachers in 2006. STF is committed to keeping adolescents safe.

Fathers can do more: only 20% of adolescent boys say that their fathers are their most important source of information on body changes, growing up and staying safe. (Population Council, 2007)


ARVs ASRH BCC CBO CDC CCT DDHS DEO DIS FAWE FPAU GYC IDP LRA PIASCY Antiretrovirals Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Behaviour Change Communication Community Based Organization Centers for Disease Control Centre Coordinating Tutor District Director of Health Services District Education Office District Inspector of Schools Forum for African Women Educationalists Family Planning Association of Uganda Gulu Youth Center Internally Displaced People Lords Resistance Army President’s Initiative on AIDS Strategy for Communication to Youth PMTCT PTC 4Rs STDs STF TASO UHSBS VCT WFP Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Primary Teachers College Runyankole/Rukiga/Rutoro/Runyoro Sexually Transmitted Diseases Straight Talk Foundation The AIDS Support Organization Uganda HIV/AIDS Sero-Behavioural Survey Voluntary Counselling and Testing World Food Programme

Mothers at a health fair in Kiboga: 48% of unmarried girls say that their mothers are their most important source of information on body changes, ASRH and relationships. (Population Council, 2007)

Alone and vulnerable: girls who are orphans are 1.5 times more likely to start sex before the age of 15 than
non-orphan girls. Only slightly more than half of all 10 to 14 year old girls live with both parents: 27% of girls do not live with their mothers.



Physical distribution of newspapers: STF’s Saulo Mukuba (left) hands out papers before a health fair in Kanungu.

Table of Contents
Message from the director........................3 NEWSPAPERS AND PRINT...........................4 Print at a glance Livelihood newspapers and school planting RADIO.................................................11 Radio topics in 2006 Radio at a glance Youth participation in Karamoja OUTREACH AND TRAINING.........................19 Primary school teachers Health fairs: ebimeeza Work in secondary schools Straight Talk clubs Community dialogues Networking STF bursaries GULU YOUTH CENTRE..............................26 MONITORING AND EVALUATION...................28 Internal evaluations External: Population Council PARTNERSHIPS.....................................30 Mvule Trust Newspapers in Education Reaching parents in Busoga FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION..................31

HIV prevalence in young Ugandans By age
15-17 18-19 20-22 23-24

1.9 3.9 5.5 7.7

0.3 0.2 2.3 2.5

1.1 2.1 4.3 5.7

Because girls marry on average four years earlier than boys, most adolescent girls who have sex are married. In contrast, most sex in adolescent boys is premarital. Female Age
15 16 17 18 19

Male Married
2 8.4 18.1 42.3 56.9

Ever had sex
16.5 30.1 45.3 65.5 80.5

Ever had sex
23.3 32.2 41.1 54.7 65

0.3 0.6 2.2 6.1 6.6

Data from UHSBS, 2004-5, National Survey of Adolescents, 2004



Message from the



nnual reports are about accountability and keeping track. What did we do in 2006?

2006 began with STF on the National HIV Prevention Task Force, helping to take apart the drivers of the epidemic. Despite the good news of ARVs, there is much to worry about: multiple partnerships are up among men, early sex is up among boys, and 50% of adults (15-49) have genital herpes which quadruples the risk of acquiring HIV. In addition, Uganda’s population growth, the third highest in the world, is playing havoc with HIV. In 2002 there were 70,000 new infections: in 2006 there were 135,000 - largely due to population increase. The taskforce concluded that we are not likely to get back to the days of declining HIV prevalence: even with more and better crafted efforts in prevention, HIV prevalence will remain constant at 6-7% nationwide. This sobering reality galvanised us to assemble a new communication strategy based on a deeper understanding of the epidemic as well as prevention efforts that have been shown to “work”. We recommitted ourselves to addressing the social factors causing the epidemic, especially gender, and to letting the audience drive the “conversation”. In print, we started our “journalist for a day” programme. Now most Straight Talks and Young Talks are co-edited by adolescents. In radio, we handed over the microphone increasingly to the listener, even training adolescents to be radio journalists in remote Karamoja. In our face-to-face work, we asked teachers to set the agenda with their questions. These turned out to be almost exclusively about their own lives. “How can I stay with only one woman when I am greedy for others?” asked one teacher. Warren Parker’s study, HIV/AIDS Communication in In the field to stay real but Selected African Countries (2007), notes that HIV wondering all the same: are these have over-focused on youth. In Uganda we campaigns adolescents going to stay safe? are seeing the result of that woeful neglect of adult sexuality. Released in 2006, the Uganda HIV/AIDS Sero-Behavioural Survey confirmed that HIV prevalence Catharine Watson, Director, STF 2006 was an extraordinarily productive year. For this, we extend a heartfelt thanks to our friends in government, civil society, teaching, health, media and the donor community. Thanks for enabling us to be an unfettered voice for sexual health and adolescents. We believe that if STF did not exist, we would have to be invented. Adolescents need us: 25% of new infections are occurring in the under-25s, and events in adolescence largely determine whether young people stay safe when they become adults. now peaks in the years 30-39 for women and 35-44 for men: 66% of new infections now occur to married people. As this emerged as a hot issue in national debates, STF was pleased to be already working with teachers through sensitisation workshops and broadcasting Parent Talk in seven languages. We cannot help adolescents without helping parents too.



Newpapers and print
TF was born out of a newspaper, Straight Talk, in 1993, and newspapers remain STF’s flagship In all STF printed 11.4 million new newspapers, 230,000 calendars and also reprinted 100,000 copies of the 2005 local language magazine versions of Straight Talk in Luganda and 4Rs: Twogere Kaati and Tushesehuure. When the newspapers for Kenya and Sudan are subtracted, STF printed 11.1 million newspapers for Uganda’s population of 28 million. For Uganda’s 7 million adolescents, STF produced a total of 7,420,000 newspapers. For Ugandan adults, STF printed 3.7 million newspapers. productions. In 2006 the print department kept its promise to make each publication relevant, appealing, different, educative and entertaining. In total STF’s four editors and three designers produced nine titles: Young Talk, Straight Talk, Farm Talk, Tree Talk, Straight Talk Sudan, Everyday Health Matters (EHM), Kids Time, Scouts Voice and Parent Talk. Of these 39 issues were produced: if translations are counted as separate, 56 issues were produced.

Newspaper/print material
Calendar Straight Talk Young Talk Farm Talk Tree Talk Straight Talk Sudan EHM English, Luganda, 4Rs Parent Talk English+4 local lang Kids Time English, Luganda Scouts Voice (Kenya) Scouts Voice (Uganda)

1 10 10 3 2 2 2 3 2 2 2

Print run
230,000 260,000 336,000 260,000 300,000 50,000 365,205: 342,950: 430,842 100,000:50,000x4 150,000:100,000 110,000 40,000

230,000 2,600,000 3,360,000 780,000 600,000 100,000 2,283,994 900,000 500,000 220,000 80,000

10 newspaper titles



Journalists for a day: secondary school students in Fort Portal work on an issue of Straight Talk. Many
adolescents find it strange to be asked to contribute an opinion and think there is always a right or wrong answer.



Exposure and use: the youth newspapers
Working with such vast quantities, the question immediately becomes: are these newspapers being read? The answer is yes. In 2005-6 Population Council conducted a community survey of the reach and impact of STF’s mass media efforts, interviewing 2040 unmarried 10 to 19 year olds in six districts. It found extensive reach: 49% of these adolescents had ever read Young Talk and 39% had ever read Straight Talk. However, most 10 to 14 year olds surveyed had not yet reached upper primary where Young Talk is distributed and almost none had reached secondary school where Straight Talk is distributed. “Ever read” was therefore far higher among: • older adolescents: 63.5% of males aged 15-19 had read Young Talk and 56% had read Straight Talk. • secondary school students: 85% had read Young Talk and 90% Straight Talk. •urban adolescents: 68% had read Young Talk and 60% Straight Talk. Population Council also established that the newspapers are used and valued. Among secondary school students in the survey, Straight Talk was the most important source of information on body changes, adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) and relationships. It was mentioned by 37% of secondary students, surpassing “radio” at 33% and “person” at 28%. Most exposed adolescents had read the newspapers at school, seeing 4-5 issues a year. Further analysis by Population Council and Family Health International found that STF spent just 0.25 US cents per year to reach an adolescent with an STF newspaper. Clearly, print is a good strategy to reach older adolescents: it may become increasingly so as young people become more educated (30% of girls aged 15 now have some exposure to secondary school up from 10% twenty years ago).

English or their local language. It is not easy to distribute a paper to parents in a society that is 87% rural. However, this disappointing result probably mainly reflects low literacy. The 2002 census states that 68% of adults are literate, but this includes everyone over age 10. A better proxy for literacy is the per cent of adults who have completed primary school. Taking women aged 30-34 as an example, only 25% have completed primary school (UHSBS, 2004-5). Real adult literacy is therefore closer to 30%. In 2006 STF concluded that print is not yet a good buy for communication programs for ordinary adults, although it may be for decisionmakers.

Working with readers
STF has always been audience-driven, with letters from readers an extremely important way of gauging if its newspapers are “working”. As in every year since Straight Talk newspaper first appeared in 1993, letters from readers poured in -- from 37 districts for Straight Talk and 47 districts for Young Talk. Girls in primary school respond well to newspapers, sending in 58% of letters received. Over 60% of children who wrote to Young Talk sought advice: questions on body changes and sex predominated. More boys (55%) wrote to Straight Talk than girls in 2006, reflecting higher male enrolment in secondary. STF volunteers answered every letter; and every reader received at least a sticker. Volunteers also log every letter. The editors then use them to inform future issues. A letter from Mary Akello, 14, described how she resisted her grandfather’s plans to forcefully marry her off. This became the lead story for the October 2006 Young Talk.

Newspapers for adults
In 2006, however, STF did not have a good experience with newspapers for adults. Despite very large print runs and high quality journalism, STF found that only 12% of parents had read the newspaper Parent Talk in


HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION In a country where few parents read newspapers (less than 10% of women and 25% of men see one weekly), asking adolescents to think about headlines and front page stories was a tall order. But by workshopping intensively with small groups, STF soon had young reporters scouring their area, interviewing school and village mates, answering the page 4 “agony aunty” questions and providing insights into their views on family planning, adolescent love, and much more. The process is far more costly and involved than an adult-edited newspaper. It is also humbling as STF is brought face to face with poorly educated adolescents upcountry. But editing with adolescents gives them A secondary student in Tororo designs page one. The topic is friends. Most young peoples’ articles begin with a definition as though it is an exam. The Ugandan education system is largely rote-based and exam-driven. genuine power and new knowledge and skills. For its part, STF gains flashes of insight into their world.

Over the years STF has invested heavily in distribution. This has yielded one of the largest and most complete mailing lists in Uganda. About one fifth of the cost of each youth newspaper is bundling and postage. In 2006 distribution was, as always, a challenge. To make matters worse, Uganda’s 56 districts fissured into 80. Schools fell into new districts without post offices, and the distribution team had to scramble to update its lists, conducting laborious mapping down to subcounty level in Mbarara, Kabale, Lira, Amolatar and Apac districts. In addition, in Soroti the team visited 30 health centres, 14 subcounties, 4 NGOs; in Kumi, 19 health centres and 12 subcounties; in Katakwi, 12 health centres, 10 subcounties; in Kibale, 20 health centres, 11 sub counties; and in Hoima, 15 health centres, 10 subcounties. These trips were used to deliver Ener Eitena (Straight Talk in Ateso) and Baza Busimba (Straight Talk Runyoro/Rutoro), Tusheeshuure (Straight Talk in Runyakore/Rukiga), and Lok Atyer Kamaleng (Straight Talk in Lwo). Finally, workshops to improve distribution and increase use of the newspapers, especially Young Talk, were held for district officials and head teachers in Rakai, Masaka and Nakasongola. There are no short cuts to getting print materials to potential readers.

A boy, 13, from Manafwa in eastern Uganda, writes a story for Young Talk as a journalist for a day. Like most rural pupils, his English and writing are poor. Only 25% of pupils in upper primary in rural schools passed the National English Tests in 2003.

Vivid and useful as letters are, in 2006 STF was keen to find new ways to get closer to the hearts and minds of adolescents. Inspired by the World Association of Newspapers Young Readers conference in Buenos Aires in September 2005, STF developed the “journalist for a day” programme, travelling to five districts (Tororo, Mbale, Sironko, Kasese and Kabarole) to co-edit Young Talk and Straight Talk with its readers or potential readers.




13,437 3,304 1,602 1,529 55 120 792 114 68 645 332 63 305 462 112 32 74 304 390 460 80 80 80 1 180 2,080 8 10

Most STF newspapers are inserted into the daily The New Vision as well as sent out through the post office from where they make their way to schools, either directly or through the district education office (DEO). Young Talk is sent to all primary schools and Straight Talk to all secondary schools. Both are sent to thousands of NGOs, CBOs, religious organizations, health centres and district officials. Members of parliament, prisons and police posts also get copies.



Midwife Tabitha (left) with Lumasaba radio journalist Irene Kityui in Kimaluli Butta, Manafwa. About 400 NGOs, hospitals, radio stations and clinics display “Straight Talk Available Here” signs.



Print at a glance in ‘06

Despite efforts to give girls and boys an equal chance to education, boys still outnumber girls in schools. Countrywide, boys also perform far better than girls in all national exams. This difference can be referred to as the “gender gap” in education. We all have a duty to work to close this gap. We need to ensure that girls do not drop out of school and do well in examinations. What causes the gender gap in education?
Studies and statistics from the Ministry of Education and Sports show that the gender gap starts in our homes and schools. Here are some of the causes. • Many people think that girls are not as intelligent as boys and belittle them with negative remarks. • Many families think that the girl will be able to depend on a husband. They do not encourage her to struggle to do well at school. So they easily drop off. • Girls need underpants and materials to manage menstruation. Some families do not provide them.This makes them miss classes, resulting in poor perfomance. • Girls are sexually harassed on the way to school, by fellow pupils and even by teachers. • Female teachers are few so girls lack role models and counselors at school.

Vol. 3 No.1 June 2006

•Talk now • Talk often • Talk again

Take action

the girl child

Equal opportunity for boys and girls What can you do as a parent to boost your daughter’s education? Now that she is in school, what can you do to make sure she stays there and completes? And how can you make sure she learns and performs to the best of her ability? • Give your daughter the opportunity to develop her full potential. • Help her to get skills which will enable her to earn a living. • Promote an educated and informed family and society. “As a child in the 1960s, I dreamt of reaching the moon. My father encouraged me to work hard. He assured me that I can achieve my dream. He gave me all the support a girl needs from a father”. Dr Mutonyi D’ Ujanga has a PHD in physics. She is the head of physics department at Makerere University. See page 4 for her full story.

Words of Wisdom
.....he must be able to manage his own family well and make his children obey him with all respect. For if a man does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of the church of God I Timothy 3:4-5
Vol. 13 No.

Hello, cute baby!
Make every baby you have a planned and wanted baby. When you marry, delay your first pregnancy by one year. Then space each birth at least three years apart. Postpone getting pregnant until you are over 20. This is a message for boys as well as girls!

Straight Talk started in October 1993; for adolescents aged 1519 in secondary school. Funded by Dfid and DANIDA in 2006. February: Living with HIV March: Spend time gainfully April: Family planning fights poverty May: You can get pregnant

Parent Talk started June 2004; for adults across Uganda. Funded by BEPS/USAID in 2006. April: Develop your child’s literacy. June: Empower the girl child. Kids Time started in 2002; for

Family planning fights poverty
In Uganda, the population is growing so fast that the country cannot build enough schools or provide enough basic services.
For every classroom that is built, another one is needed. Classrooms are filled up as fast as they are built. Where are we heading with such fast population growth?

4 April 2006

Do you blame other people for yuor life?
Listen how you talk. count how many times you use blaming phrases such as: "it's because mypeers make me do it..." or "It's the governement's fault..." Stop worrying about and blaming things you have no control over or cannot change. These include your gender (sex), your tribe, home area, the weather, or the economic status of your parents. consentrate on things you can control, such as your actions and attitude. Focus your energy on things you can do something about. Take personal responsibility for your life. You can turn setbacks into triumphs! Be highly-effective young person. Miss Uganda visited Straight Talk in March. We felt blessed by her beaty and intelligence.

It's safe

It's healthy

Equally clever: support boys and girls equally as they strive to perform well and stay in school.

Today large families are part of the poverty picture. Having many children almost always makes families poorer. In Uganda poor families have on average 8.5 children. The most prosperous families have on average four children. When children are many, poverty is passed down to the next generation. Poverty becomes a way of life and not a temporary problem.

It reduces deaths of mothers and babies.

The Ministry of Education and Sports constantly monitors enrolment. Here is a graph which shows the gap in enrolment for girls and boys from 1997 to 2003.

Dr Mutonyi D’Ujanga, the first woman to head a department in the Faculty of Science, Makerere University.

It reduces quarrels over land, family violence and misery over school fees. It's our future!

At P1 and P2 girls and boys are enrolled in almost equal numbers. There are just 2% more boys than girls. But then girls start dropping out in larger numbers than boys. By P7 there are 10% more boys than girls enrolled. This means that in a P7 class of 100, there will be 55 boys but only 45 girls. This is the gender gap. Boys also perform far better on the PLE than girls. In 2005, there were 30,000 more boys than girls in Division 1 and 2. This is also gender gap.

Missing our targets
Just like a person has plans, Uganda as a country has plans. But population growth is disrupting them and making us miss our targets. Family planning is the personal

responsibility of all of us. In 2006 the Ministry of Health is relaunching family planning. The Ministry wants: Fewer girls to give birth while they are under the

age of 20. More adolescents to postpone sex until marriage. All sexually-active adolescents to increase use of contraception. Read this Straight Talk to learn more.

Write the story of your life
This newspaper was produced by two Straight Talk clubs in Sironko:
Muyembe Health Centre IV Straight Talk club and Nabbongo SS Youth Straight Talk Club. Their members were “journalists for a day”. They wrote their stories and did peer interviews. They also asked questions. Can you answer them? See page 4

Want to be a Journalist for a Day? This is a project of Newspapers in Education. Write to Straight Talk, PO Box 22366, Kampala.
Fred Simitit, chair of the Nabbongo SS Youth ST Club, collects letters for Khukanika Lubuula, Straight Talk's radio show in Lumasaba, on Open Gate at 730 pm every Saturday....................................................................................................................................................................................................... .................................... Praise Akankwasa is studying mass communications at Makerere.

This newspaper is for teachers of nursery schools, P1 and P2; parents and workers in early child centres
Vol. 2 o.4 May 2006

Early childhood - the years between birth and 8 are years of greatest brain growth and development

Early childhood assessment is a good start of raising successful children

anytime you have sex June: Life is good July: I want to be like you: role models August: Is your relationahip healthy? September: We can end this suffering: HIV/AIDS October: Genital herpes: a serious STD with no cure Nov/Dec: Safety during holidays.

Assess children's abilities
Assessment in early childhood aims at finding out how children are progressing in growth and development. It is important to continuously study children's physical well-being, social and mental development. You also watch out for their language development and understanding ability? Are your children developing normally and learning well? Where do they need help and support? Continuous assessing is key to ensuring successful early learners. It helps you identify children with learning difficulties and special needs. This enables you to provide extra support early enough to help them achieve their full potential. Proscovia, a caregiver at Mothercare Day Care Nursery School, Jinja, says: I study the children continuously and closely to see their development. For example, 3-year-old Alice can now play freely and share play materials with other children. She can respond to instructions given by the teachers. Alice can also tell stories of what she did at home. This is great development that I look out for in every child. Then I provide support to enhance their development and learning.

teachers of P1-2 and nursery school and carers of children aged 0-8. Funded by BEPS/ USAID in 2006 in Luganda and English. Feb: Preparing your child for pre-school. May: Assess children’s abilities. Straight Talk Sudan started in

Children need familiar environment to show best their abilities. Paper-and-pencil tasks may make it hard for them to show what they know. Three year old Alice Yosabira, Mother Care, Jinja, singing.

Does your child need help? Fouryear-old Aisha Nakagalo, Nalinya Masiluta Nkinzi Nursery, Wakiso, shows her best colour to teacher Sarah Nagawa

• Identify children’s strong and weak points and how to help them improve. • Identify their differences, abilities, likes and dislikes. • Guide children on what you want them to do. • Give confidence to the child in relation to what they have learnt.

• Provide practice to apply knowledge and skills. • Review your teaching methods. • Identify instructional needs. • Give encouragement and motivation to the child. • Prepare appropriate remedial work.

Assessment helps you to successfully support the child’s learning and development needs.

Young Talk started in February 1998; for adolescents in primary school in classes P4-7 (age 1014). Funded by DANIDA, Dfid and BEPS/USAID in 2006. February: Making friends March: Put your time to good use April: Family size May: Life is more valuable than money
Vol. 2 No. 1, March 2006

2004 for adolescents in southern Sudan. Funded by American Refugee Committee in 2006. March: Resettling home. August: Staying safe in a peaceful Sudan.

June: Making smart decisions about sex July: Keep clean, look great August: Are your brothers and sisters good role models? September: HIV is still with us October: When to say No to an adult Nov/Dec: Use your holiday time well. Farm Talk started August 2002; for all primary schools and many CBOs. Funded by the Agricultural Sector Programme Support/DANIDA. April: Managing drought. July: Grow, glow and go foods. Sept: School gardens are living labs. Tree Talk started in March 2002; for all educational institutions and many CBOs. Funded by World Food Programme in 2006. Feb: Plant fast-growing trees. June: Tree seed is life.
Scouts Voice journalists pose for a picture at Kaazi Scouts national training and camping site, Kampala ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Scouts Voice started in 2005
Scouting for Solutions
Wouldn’t the world be a better place? Enjoy reading. You may discuss the issues in this edition with a friend, parent/ guardian and Scout leader. Please share with us your opinions.
Mark Anderson

FREE, not for sale


As we scout for solutions we bring you the second edition of Scouts Voice. Like the first edition, this edition has scouted for solutions to problems affecting us. Read about the power of values in

helping you overcome life challenges. Yes! Your values may be protective and help you make healthy life choices. Imagine what a wonderful world we live would be if we upheld our values: honesty, openness, respectful, kindness,... the list is endless.

In the next issue we shall talk about making healthy friendships and respecting our values to avoid exposure to risky behaviour. We will also introduce the new HIV and AIDS badge and how to earn it.

for scouts. Funded by PathKenya-USAID. Editions produced for Ugandan and Kenyan scout troops. March: Be true to your values. July: Choosing good friends.

............................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................... .........................................................................

alue! This may mean how much something is worth in terms of money.
But in this issue values mean something you believe in and consider important in life. Values are acceptable principles of behaviour.


Stand up for your values
Values are ways of behaviour you:
- Have chosen on your own, without force. - Stand for and are ready to talk about proudly in public. Your values may be influenced by your family, friends, culture, school, media and religion. Values include honesty, openness, kindness, faithfulness and forgiveness. These are just a few examples but you have many values.

Values to help you lthy make hea idst am choices ges challen of life
Message from DirectorSfS

Think about a difficult situation you met or a time when friends encouraged you to do something wrong. Did you ever remember to stick to your values?

Know your values
Knowing and respecting your values helps you remain true to yourself when faced with a challenge.

Your decisions, choices and actions may be guided by these values.
Values can help you make healthy decisions and avoid risky behaviour. For example, if you value a healthy body, you will be determined to avoid behaviour that expose you to ill health. A very warm welcome to the second edition of the Scouts Voice. Your values as a scout are important. They define who you are and determine how you relate to your family and friends and the choices you make in life. Right choices will help you stay safe and healthy. You should choose friends who have similar values to yours. Remember wrong choices could affect your education, career and even increase your risk of HIV infection. Please share the Scouts Voice with your family and friends.

Talk about your values
As you read this issue, ask yourself: What are my values? Do my friends share my values? Talk about your values. You may share with each other, values that have helped you overcome challenges and stay safe.

and the life of others. SCOUT VALUES AND LAWS KEEP US SAFE: Annie Thairu Esther, Prossy, Becky and Joyce say scouting is good for every young person ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................1

Values can make a difference in your life

Teacher Talk started in 2002. Did not appear in 2006. Everyday Health Matters started in 2006; for adults acrosss Uganda. Funded by AFFORD/USAID. Developed in conjunction with Ministry of Health and other partners. August in English, 4Rs, Luganda: How many children should we have? November in English, 4Rs, Luganda and Lwo: Malaria costs more than treated nets.



Livelihood newspapers and school planting
In 2002, STF turned its skills in communication to address the environment and agriculture, launching two newspapers that promote school projects: a school woodlot in the case of Tree Talk and school gardens with Farm Talk. Both newspapers are sent to all primary schools in Uganda with sachets of seed. Tree Talk is also sent to all secondary schools and tertiary institutions as well as CBOs, prisons and religious groups.

The work of these new staff was to set up one acre woodlots in 230 schools with a total of 175,000 trees. The intent is that these trees will eventually provide firewood for school midday meals. Lack of firewood is a major contributor to children not eating school meals, and rural pupils perform far worse than urban children, largely because temporary hunger at school diminishes their ability to learn. An external evaluation in January 2007 showed that Tree Talk far surpassed its targets, planting 244,000 trees on 320 acres in 227 schools. Nine months after planting, 60% of trees were still thriving, a respectable survival rate. In addition to fuelwood species such as Senna and Neem, STF also planted thousands of seedlings of the endangered tropical hardwood, Mvule (Iroko). As in the previous four years, two issues (600,000 copies) of Tree Talk were produced and distributed with seeds of Lusambya, Senna, Podo and Mvule. To give vigour to the woodlot programme, live talk shows were also aired on five FM stations in northern and eastern Uganda. In November 2006, the NGO Environment Alert voted Tree Talk the best initiative for

Tree Talk
Supported by World Food Programme (WFP), Tree Talk had a year of explosive growth in 2006, carrying on with its nationwide newspaper, but also hiring seven young people to work on the ground in eight districts: Gulu, Lira/Apac, Pader, Kitgum, Kotido/Kaabong, Moroto/ Nakapiripirit and Kumi. With the exception of Kumi, all these districts have suffered years of conflict and displacement of people.

A Lusambya woodlot in Pader: the parent in charge of the trees greets STF forester Simon Peter Amunau.


HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION promoting environmental communication and preservation in Uganda. That same month Tree Talk’s Simon Peter Amunau presented Tree Talk at a Green Belt Movement meeting in Kenya. Tree Talk was voted one of the best environment projects in the Great Lakes region and Southern Africa at the November 2006 UNFCC COP-12 conference in Nairobi. In 2006 Farm Talk staff trained 188 primary school teachers at three district centres (DATICS) in Tororo, Kabarole, Masaka and at the two agricultural colleges in Soroti and Lira. In addition to sharing concepts such as composting, plant tea and kitchen gardening, the trainings in 2006 also included simple poultry management. Many trainees become model agricultural teachers in their areas. A further 120 schools were given materials to help them to establish “model school gardens”. The materials included two rolls of barbed wire, vegetable seeds, cereal seeds and agro forestry tree seeds. Farm Talk aims to generate excitement about agriculture by helping schools to create small (one acre) but inspiring gardens. The hope is that these will be intensively and progressively managed, grow a variety of plants, and serve as learning laboratories for Much needs to be done to reverse the common perception among school children that farming is for “failures”. It is mark of the high esteem in which the Ministry of Education holds Farm Talk that for a second year in a row a minister closed the final training. At Kamenyamiggo DATIC in Masaka, minister of state for primary education, Hon Peter Lokeris hailed Farm and Tree Talk. pupils. These model gardens contrast sharply with the standard school garden which tends to be a dreary place for learning about farming: hot, extensive, and usually containing only one crop such as sweet potatoes for teachers’ meals.

Farm Talk
In 2006, with support from ASPS-DANIDA, three issues of Farm Talk were produced and distributed with seed for cabbage, “sukuma wiki” and eggplant to all primary schools countrywide.

Pupils and teachers with their Farm Talk cabbages in a school in Kabale district. The seeds provided by Farm Talk cost just 30 US cents a school but seem to catalyse more hands on teaching in the school garden.



Radio S

TF began working in radio in 1999. The aim was to reach the out-of-school youth who cannot access

printed STF material and to reinforce the STF conversation for those who were able to see the newspapers. The first Straight Talk radio show was in English, followed by Lwo a year later. STF’s strategic plan is to be broadcasting in 15 languages by 2008. By the end of 2006 STF had youth radio shows in 12 languages up from 11 in 2005. The newest was Nga’karimojong, the language of northeastern Karamoja, an arid and neglected area where the people are pastoralists with strong reluctance to send their children to school. This multiplicity of languages means that 85% of young Ugandans can potentially listen to a Straight Talk radio show in a language that they can understand. Also new in 2006 were Parent Talk shows in Lumasaba, Luganda and Lwo. This brought the total number of shows being produced each week to 19: each was a half-hour long, prerecorded and based on interviews conducted deep in the villages upcountry. Aired on 33 radio stations, some of them several times a week, the shows amounted to 64 broadcasts a week and over 1500 hours of airtime a year. As with print, the question here is: is anyone listening? Again the answer is yes. Straight Talk radio is received, just 13% of adolescents said they had ever heard it. This is no surprise: English is only well understood by youth with several years of secondary education. Just 16% of secondary schoolaged children are currently enrolled in secondary school, according to the 2006 Demographic and Health Survey. The Straight Talk radio show is valued by youth: in districts where there is a local language show, 37% of adolescents cite radio as the most important source of information on body changes, ASRH and relationships, In districts with Straight Talk radio shows in the local language, 76% of adolescents surveyed said they had ever listened to a Straight Talk show, 65% of whom were dedicated listeners, listening three to four times a month. In Arua district 84.3% and in Soroti 80.2% of all adolescents had ever listened to the show. In contrast in the two districts surveyed where only the English Radio is extraordinarily cost efficient: analysis by Population Council, Family Health International and STF found that it cost just 11 US cents to reach an adolescent a year by radio. This estimate is conservative, says the study, as “it ignores the intensity ahead of “person” at 34% and “newspaper” at 22%. Listening but at risk: by the age of 18-19, girls are 18 times more likely to have HIV, eight times more likely to be married, and one-fourth as likely to be in school as boys the same age.

Population Council’s study of STF reveals that radio is a best buy in communication, bringing about tremendous exposure, especially in areas where the show is in the local language, at very low cost. By age 10, 22% of the 2040 unmarried adolescents surveyed by Population Council had listened to a Straight Talk radio show. By age 14, 64% had.


HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION of reach (a person reached once is counted the same as a person who is reached multiple times)”. print run of 900,000 and the offer of valuable prizes. In contrast the radio shows had by the end of 2006 received hundreds of letters.

In total the Straight Talk youth radio shows received 21,425 letters in 2006, of which 41% were from outof-school listeners, 44% from secondary school listeners, 10% from primary school listeners and 5% from listeners in tertiary institutions. With its heavy population in western Uganda, the 4Rs Straight Talk radio show brought in 20% of all letters received, followed by the English show (17%), Lwo (15%) and Ateso (10%). Per capita, small language groups responded more strongly than large language groups. Especially popular were the Lukonzo and Lusamia shows. A large population group that responded poorly was the Baganda, due to competing shows as well as cultural reasons. There are more behaviour change challenges in Buganda than any other part of Uganda. Radio attracts far more letters than print. In 2006 the most stark example of this was Parent Talk. The newspaper received less than ten letters, despite a Most noteworthy was the response to the Parent Talk radio show in Lukonzo, the language spoken by the people who live in the Ruwenzori region along the Parent Talk radio shows promote positive living and a “Basic Care” package that CDC has demonstrated cuts morbidity and mortality: bed nets, Septrin, TB treatment and a water purifier/vessel. Though scripted for people living with HIV and their families, the shows address general adult issues, including parenting.

STF Luganda journalist Zaitun Natabaregga interviews a parent. Says Radio manager Annette Kyosiimire about the Parent Talk shows: “We did not expect that parents would ask us such questions about their health and sexuality. Because all along we had been banking on parents knowing things. But really, in many ways, they were as raw as adolescents.”


HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION Congo border, an area with some of the worst education indices in Uganda. In 2006, it received 498 letters, including 162 from women, and parents were forming Parent Talk clubs. to encourage education and increase HIV awareness among the Karimojong, Unicef was also concerned that as a people the Karimojong were failing to articulate what they wanted for their society: any talk that STF could generate would be good.

Gender and radio
Radio is a boy-biased medium with 60% of boys and 50% of girls having ever listened to the Straight Talk radio show, according to Population Council. Boys appear to prefer to get their ASRH information from radio while girls prefer “person”. In general, Population Council found, boys are 50% more likely to listen to radio daily while girls are three times more likely to report that they do not listen to radio at all. But if listenership is slightly more among boys, response to the Straight Talk radio shows is enormously higher in males. In 2006 only 21% of letter writers to the shows were female. This figure has remained the same for several year though it varies markedly by region due to local culture -- 36% of letters to the Lusoga show are from girls compared to just 13% to the Lugbara show. Girls may write less to the shows because they have less time, less money for postage and less freedom to move to town. Radio content also matters: over 60% of girls are married by the end of adolescence, so radio shows that address them as though they are single are less relevant and interesting for them than shows that deal with marriage, managing husbands and other relationship issues. Whatever the reasons for the low participation of girls, they need to participate and not just passively listen: in 2007 STF will make greater efforts to draw girls in by broadcasting on girl “conversations”. “It is a hard area,” says Annette Kyosiimire, head of radio for STF, who travelled to Karamoja with her three month old baby. “The audience is shy and had never seen microphones. And the UN had only one bullet proof vest. Also, people were not willing to come to Kampala to host the show. With Carol, the young woman we found to be presenter, I had to plead with her like she was my own child.” Training adolescents to do their own radio reporting makes the show more sensitive to this deeply traditional society. But it does not remove all dilemmas. How openly, for example, should the show condemn cattleraiding?

Reaching Karamoja
The launch of the Nga’karimojong radio show in October was a high point in 2006, fulfilling STF’s strategic plan of reaching the poorest and remotest communities. Karamoja is a region in crisis with ever more violent cattle raids. The show was the culmination of intense work on the ground, as STF sought to understand what the young people in Karamoja wanted and needed. In getting to grips with Karamoja, STF was greatly assisted by its partnership with Unicef. Besides wanting Radio keeps the out-of-school connected: the Population Council survey found that 52% of out-ofschool adolescents (unmarried, 10-19) had ever listened to the Straight Talk radio show. Of these, 74% listened three to four shows a month compared to 64% of in-school youth.


HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION Topics on the 52 Straight Talk radio shows 2006 New Year’s resolutions Handling relationships HIV infection rates Doctor show Condoms Virginity Early pregnancy Doctor show HIV disclosure Syphilis VCT ARVs PMTCT Malaria Septrin HIV disclosure Doctor show Poverty Menstruation Personal hygiene Doctor show Body changes Life after VCT Showing love Doctor show Money Gonorrhoea Culture Family planning Doctor show Condoms Pregnancy Young positives Doctor show Candida Domestic violence Culture Abortion Doctor show Religion Smoking Unassisted births Doctor Show Something for something love Life style Genital herpes Doctor show Men and antenatal care Role models Poverty Xmas highlights Doctor show

Topics on the 26 Parent Talk radio shows in 2006: each show is aired for two weekends PMTCT Family hygiene Prevent school drop out VCT Couple testing Partner testing and disclosure HIV disclosure Safe water vessel School requirements TB treatment Septrin ARVs Girls to school after pregnancy Hunger/nutrition TB Doctor Show Malaria Diarrhoea Basic care Life after VCT Family planning STI prevention Opportunistic infections Prevention with positives PMTCT Disclosure Adhering to ARVs Disclosure Home-based VCT Hygiene Safe water Condom Psychological support Taking drugs Basic Care pacakge Couple testing

Susan Babirye, STF’s Lusoga radio journalist (left), interviews a young woman. Thousands of people told the stories of their lives on STF radio shows in 2006. One young girl poignantly described how her parents tell her that they “want to eat out of her before they die”. Many parents pressure their daughters into early marriage so that they can receive brideprice.



Radio at a glance 2006
Radio shows for adolescents and youth (Ireland Aid, Danida, Dfid, Sida) Language English Straight Talk Lwo: Lok atyer kamaleng 4Rs: Tusheeshuure Ateso: Ener Eitena Lugbara: Eýo eceza tra ri Lusamia: Embaha Ngololofu Lumasaba: Khukanikha Lubuula Luganda: Twogere Kaati Lukonzo: Erikania Okwenene Nga’karimojong: Erwor Ngolo Ediiriana Sub-total Launch date 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2003 2004 2004 2004 2006 October (Unicef) 10 shows Broadcasts/wk 13 5 6 3 1 2 2 5 2 3 42 broadcasts/wk

Radio shows for the engaged and newly married (Min of Gender/Core/Pepfar) Lusoga: Twogere Lwattu Kupsabiny: Ngalatep Maante Sub-total 2005 2005 2 shows 3 3 6 broadcasts/wk

Radio shows for parents 4Rs: Eraiko Ryomuzaire Lugbara: Nzeta Tipikani Lukonzo: Omukania wábabuthi Lusamia: Embaha ya bebusi Lumasaba: Inganikha iy’ Basaali Luganda: Eddolobozi iyo muzadde Lwo: Lok pa Lanyodo Sub-total TOTAL Consultancies/partnerships Bird flu: 8 spots in 9 languages on 18 stations for Poultry Association of Uganda and ASPS/DANIDA. 21 spots a week. Three month campaign. Basic Care Package 8 spots in 8 languages on 32 stations, promoting positive living (Septrin, Water Guard, bed nets, disclosure) for Population Services International and Centers for Disease Control. 12 spots a week. 12 month campaign. Rock Point 256 Post production of soap opera in two languages. 104 half hour episodes. October 2005 October 2005 October 2005 October 2005 February 2006 February 2006 November 2006 (Unicef) 7 shows 19 shows 2 2 2 1 2 2 4 15 broadcasts/week 64 broadcasts/week



Luganda Lwo Ateso 4Rs Lugbara Lukonzo Kupsabiny Lusamia Lumasaba Lusoga Nga’karimojong English but no local language

STF broadcasts for adolescents in 12 languages. The entire country receives the English Straight Talk show. Eleven ethnic groups receive broadcasts in their languages. The above map shows the linguistic areas from Nga’karimojong in the east (STF’s newest language) to Lukonzo in the west.

As of 2006 the Alur, Madi and Kakwa in the northwest, Japadhola in the east, and Bafumbira in the southwest have no youth reproductive health show in their local language. STF intends to add three more languages by the end of 2008. The red circles show the 33 radio stations STF uses to broadcast its shows.

The small ethnic groups take part more in the show. There is little radio programming in their languages, so the show is a novelty and a source of information and ideas from the outside world. One in every 62 Bakonzo youth wrote into the Straight Talk show in 2006.



Youth participation in Karamoja
Roger Hart’s Ladder of Participation (1992) describes partnerships between adults and youth. The bottom three rungs of the ladder are manipulation, decoration and tokenism. The eighth and highest rung is “youth initiated, shared decisions with adults”. STF’s work in Karamoja hit a high and proud note of rung 6 on the ladder: “adult initiated, shared decisions with youth”. STF recruited 24 year old Carol Napeyok to produce the show and had sixty young adolescents to identify the subjects they wanted the show to address and trained them to be reporters.



They interviewed my voice with a microphone -

“I was waiting for my results after finishing my primary teachers course, when my neighbour Joseph of Tree Talk asked me to help STF. So I moved with them in the villages. I asked people questions and wrote the answers in English. After those days, Annette, the radio coordinator, asked me if I would like to work with STF. She interviewed my voice with a microphone. Then she asked me to come to Kampala with her. I told her I had to ask my aunts first. My aunties said: “Yes, you can work in radio, though you trained as a teacher.” My first impression of Kampala was that it was a good place. But I also thought: “Where will people build since the houses are so squeezed?” I took a week to learn the computer. Zaitun trained me to write scripts and use the minidisc. At first I did not know how to use the buttons. One month later I went back to Moroto to collect more interviews. The challenge at first was that people did not want to be interviewed. They wanted money or something to eat. Usually we give them a T-shirt. To get them to tell the truth, you ask them questions, and you get another question out of what they have told you. You ask them: has this ever happened to you? Now my aunts listen to me on the radio and like it. People in Karamoja appreciate what I talk. Even the elders call me. They say when you mentioned such and such a thing, it touched me. Like about polygamy. They said the show was OK because these days AIDS is too much so people should stop what is called polygamy. The children we trained have benefited. We move with them to the villages. While I am interviewing, they sit under the trees and talk to the young people. Sometimes they do the interviews themselves. They say Straight Talk has taught them more about AIDS. And they say they are now more relaxed with other people and can talk more.” Carol Napeyok, STF Nga’karimojong radio journalist



Outreach and Training
ince its first school visits in 1996 STF has had a physical presence on the ground with face-to-face has been to invite three teachers, including the head teacher, from every primary school in a district, to a workshop that covers ASRH, how to use Young Talk and making an action plan for ASRH in schools. In total In 2006, STF’s six trainers and community mobilisers worked in 25 of Uganda’s 76 districts: • with primary teachers in Mbale, Lira, Kabarole, Mukono, Kiboga, Gulu, Apac, Kumi, Kanungu. • with secondary school ST clubs in Tororo, Mukono, Gulu, Hoima, Kabarole, Kampala and Pader. • with girls from secondary schools in Katakwi, Amuria, Bundibugyo, Kabermaido, Soroti and Kumi. • with newly engaged and married people in Mayuge, Kamuli, Bugiri, Jinja, Iganga, Kaliro, Kapchorwa and Bukwo. • with communities through health fairs in Kumi, Kiboga, Lira and Kanungu. Community conversations characterized the year: STF’s face-to-face interventions are shifting from sensitization/trainings to dialogues. Agenda were determined by the community and target audience. “These workshops involved less information-giving and more two-way talk,” says lead trainer Beatrice Bainomugisha. “We wanted to know: had teachers implemented the ASRH action plans they had drawn up?” STF therefore returned to Mbale, Lira, Kabarole, Mukono, Kiboga and Apac to meet with 3814 primary teachers it had trained before from 1907 schools as well as 201 parent representatives and 72 health workers. In 2006, rather than move to new districts, STF opted to “consolidate” districts in which it had worked in 2003-5. “Our assumption was that teachers would do much better if we followed them up,” said STF trainer Peter Mubala. STF has worked with almost 14,000 primary school teachers from about 5500 schools. This constitutes over one-tenth of Uganda’s primary teachers from one third of its primary schools. work reinforcing its mass media efforts.

Primary school teachers
STF has been conducting two day workshops for primary school teachers on adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) since 2001. STF’s approach

STF trainer Peter Mubala (right) with primary school teachers. The Population Council survey found that teachers who had attended STF workshops were more comfortable talking about sex and reproductive health than those trained by other implementers.


HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION Teachers valued the return visit. “This is good followup,” said one teacher in Mbale. “By sharing experiences, we learn new activities like composing songs with sex education messages.” Nevertheless, by late 2006, teachers seemed bored by Overall in Uganda teachers are striving to improve ASRH. Population Council found that over 80% of primary schools said they were using Young Talk, about 75% reported guidance and counselling and about 40% reported giving ASRH messages at weekly assemblies. Clearly, the efforts of STF, PIASCY (the Ministry of Education’s HIV/sex education programme) and other implementers have made a difference. “I can now explain and not merely display the PIASCY messages in the school compound,” said one teacher. Even pupils seem more satisfied: “Our teachers are Their own sexual health was their prime concern. “How can I know if my co-wives are infected with HIV?” asked one teacher. A key task of 2007 will be to find new ways to work with teachers that directly but sensitively address gender and the social role of sex. the standard HIV discourse and were exuding an air of palpable fatigue. Clearly they were also struggling to stay safe. In a simple workshop poll, STF found that only 30% knew the HIV status of the last person they had had sex with. Second generation HIV concepts like discordance were strange to them. now more friendly. Recently I had a problem and the teacher helped me without getting annoyed,” said a boy in P5.

Primary School teacher sensititsations 2001-2006
Year 2001-3 2004 2005 2006 Primary teachers 6971 2840 4144 3814 201/72 201/72 Parents/health workers 186/73 (2003) Number of schools 2588 920 2000 1907 Districts Lira, Arua, Nebbi, Pallisa, Gulu, Rukungiri, Kamuli, Kalangala, Apac. Hoima, Luwero, Masaka, Mukono. Soroti. Hoima, Soroti, Kabarole, Mbale, Kumi, Apac, Mukono and Kiboga. Hoima, Soroti, Kabarole, Mbale, Kumi, Apac, Mukono and Kiboga.

Questions teachers ask
About HIV and their own sexuality • How can I prevent premature ejaculation? • If your periods have passed by 2-3 days and you have sex, will you get pregnant? • What can I do if my wife has no sexual interest? • How can we as ladies satisfy the sexual desires of our husbands? • Why, for couples when tested, one is found positive while the other one is negative? About adolescents • Should big girls sit together with boys or should we separate them? • How can the girl child be convinced to stay in school while in periods because most tend to shy away? • How can we as teachers find out pupils living with HIV so as to help them in a special way? • How can we really make the community come nearer?



Health fairs: ebimeeza
In 2006 STF held 12 health fairs (ebimeeza), reaching thousands of out-of-school youth. Health fairs help upcountry areas to realise the resources they already have to address ASRH. STF acts as a catalyst to mobilise local health centres, CBOs and the population. Before each health fair, STF convenes a district meeting so that officials can reflect on ASRH crises such as early pregnancy.

and Bukomero; Lira district 23-25 June in Aloi and Ogur IDP camps and Amach sub-county; Kumi district 14-16 July in Kolir, Ongino and Kapir; and Kanungu district 6-8 October in Rutenga, Kihiihi and Kayonza. The fairs included games, stalls, marching bands, exhibitions, testimonies from people with HIV, drama performances by ST clubs and blood donation. Health workers fielded hundreds of questions. Over

After a process of mapping so that the districts could select the less served subcounties, the fairs took place in: Kiboga district 21-23 April in Nsambya, Butemba

70,000 local language Straight Talks and 40,000 local language Parent Talks were carried by youth leaders to all corners of their districts.

Chief guest at the Kiboga health fairs, Rhoda Kalema, hands out the Luganda Straight Talk magazine. Out-ofschool youth are not easy to reach with printed material: health fairs draw them together and introduce them to services such as VCT and family planning. In 2006 a total of 2219 young people were counseled and tested for HIV at health fairs, double the number that tested at fairs in 2005: 7% (103 females, 53 males) were found to have the virus. Testing took place in tents or classrooms. STF supported local health workers with per diems and test kits. STF works hard to link up with local health services so that those who test positive for HIV can be supported after STF has left the district. Family planning was also provided at health fairs.



Work in secondary schools
In 2006 STF’s counsellors, trainers and volunteers spent face-to-face time with over 3000 secondary school students from 116 schools. About 600 of these young people were in schools in Kampala and Mukono that summoned the STF team to make “on-call” visits, improvised and spontaneous events where STF staff answer students’ questions. The schools were: Mpoma Girls, Citizen HS, Nakinyuguzi Parents Kampala SS, Uphill College, and Mandela SS. STF also worked face-to-face with 230 scholarship girls funded by Mvule Trust through the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) and World Vision in Bundibugyo, Katakwi, Kabermaido and Amuria districts. These intensive four day life skills and sexual health camps involved talking until late in the night with girls who were often deeply distressed. A final 2000 or so students were reached by teams of British students from the UK universities of Oxford ,

Edinburgh and Birmingham. Led by STF staff, they organised drama, singing and counselling and painted classrooms and Straight Talk logos at 39 schools in five districts. The teams also donated books, science equipment and sports material worth three million UGX. Schools visited by the volunteers Tororo: Kisoko High, Mugulu High, Rock High, St Peters College, Molo SS, Atiri SS, St Benedict, Tororo High, Tororo Progressive Academy Mukono: Kojja SS, Mpoma Girls, Kisowera SS, Lugazi Progressive, Seeta High, Mukono Bishop, St Michael, Mukono High School, and Mukono Town Academy. Kampala: Luzira SS, Uphill College, Pimbas SS, Emma High, Manchester High School, Worlds Worth SS, Bukoto High School. Hoima: Kitara SS, Buhimba SS, St. Thomas More, Kigorobya SS, Bwikya Moslem, Mandela SS. Gulu: Gulu Youth Centre, Awer SSS, Kock Goma SSS, Gulu High School, Gulu Central and Bishop Negri SSS in Awere and Alero camps.

Oxford students act a role play in a secondary school in Hoima. Many overseas volunteers are initially baffled by the culture of Ugandan adolescence. But they soon stabilise, igniting constructive and exciting discussions. As in previous years, schools appreciated the teams. Said the headteacher of Kojja SSS, Mukono: “Your coming was more ripe than this time. We have been missing opportunities of saving our young ones from death.”



Straight Talk clubs
STF currently posts 20 copies of Straight Talk a month to 947 Straight Talk clubs in secondary schools. These clubs registered with STF over the last eight years. Do they all still exist? It is impossible to know. What is certain is that 121 active secondary school Straight Talk clubs in 35 districts wrote to STF in 2006. “Really we are happy to receive the information you sent,” wrote a 40 member ST club from Ibanda Technical School. “We are struggling to catch up with the world.” “We have introduced counseling groups, planted trees and have a plan for a cabbage garden,” wrote the 20 member ST club at Nkutu Memorial SS in Iganga. STF may have more clubs than it knows. Population Council interviewed 406 students in secondary schools in Kamuli, Kisoro, Arua and Soroti districts: 63% said their school has Straight Talk club. Extrapolated to Uganda’s 3000 or so secondary schools, this would make over 1800 Straight Talk clubs across the country. In addition, 22% of primary pupils interviewed by Population Council said their school had a Young Talk club. Straight Talk clubs are interesting because they are self-forming, and, although a supportive school administration helps, most appear only to need STF newspapers to sustain themselves. In Ugandan schools there are many other AIDS-related clubs, such as those linked to the NGOs TASO and Youth Alive: 90% of the members of these other clubs told the Population Council researchers that Straight Talk and Young Talk were the main materials they used in their meetings. Membership of any AIDS club seems to be helpful to young people. Surveying members of school AIDS clubs regardless of affiliation, Population Council found that 90% of members said they benefited from belonging: 56% said that the clubs provided a safe peer group; 24% that clubs availed information, 15% that the clubs provided a safe environment, and 6% that the clubs had “fun activities”. STF is never able to visit or work with more than a fraction of its clubs in any one year. However, in 2006, STF was able to train 96 teachers (59 male, 37 female) from Kabarole and Mukono schools to be club patrons.

In addition 184 males and 315 females from 65 schools in Mukono, Kabarole, Bundibugyo, Soroti, Katakwi, Kaberamaido, Kumi, Amuria, Gulu, Pader and Kitgum were trained in club formation and management. STF also worked in the conflict-affected district of Pader, training secondary students to be peer educators and club leaders on behalf of International Rescue Committee.

Creating safer places: students painted this
club sign at their Kampala school.



Community dialogues
Under the auspices of CORE/Ministry of Gender and in 2006 STF worked face-to-face with Sabiny communities on Mt Elgon and communities in Busoga. These focused on the sexual health of engaged and newly married people, though many older people attended. An additional 36 dialogues were conducted under Centers for Disease Control/Institute of Public Health in Busoga, reaching 1800 adults, of whom 48% sought individual counselling and 72% were women. These dialogues aimed to help communities discuss both the parenting of adolescents as well as the parents’ own sexual health.

many, especially when they put up a Straight Talk sign,” says Pauline Ajello, STF community mobiliser. “We try to tell them to organise a room where youth can read as a group. But actually this is a hard complaint for us because our print runs cannot keep growing.” In 2006, STF responded to 31 invitations from NGOs/ CBOs. It took part in the World AIDS Day celebrations; had stalls during the orientation weeks at Makerere University and Uganda Christian University Mukono; and worked with the Positive Men’s Union, Kamwokya Caring Community, Family Planning Association of Uganda, and the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Clinic at Mulago Hospital. Finally, STF took part in trainings at Marie Stopes (youth

STF is an intense networker, supplying almost 2000 NGOs and CBOs with over 100,000 newspapers a month. Through its radio shows, it also makes thousands of referrals a year to big NGOs like Marie Stopes, health facilities like Arua Hospital, and smaller youth-serving CBOs such as Awareness Youth Organisation in Mbale. It is vital, therefore, that STF meet its partners. In 2006, with funding from SIDA, STF held three one-day networking meetings. •In Mbale on 23 March with 21 NGOs, 16 CBOs, and 11 senior officials, including the district director of health services: 38 memos of understanding were signed (MOU) and 27 “Straight Talk available here” signs given out. •In Lira on 11 May with 25 NGOs, 10 CBOs and seven senior district officials, including the district education officer: 27 MOUs signed; 20 signs given out. •In Ntungamo on 3 August: with 17 NGOs, 12 CBOs, and 12 senior officials, including the district inspector of schools: 38 MOUs signed. With funds from the CDC/IPH project, a fourth and final networking meeting was held in Jinja on 8 June with 35 district departments (police, education, health), NGOs, CBOs and FBOs in Busoga. Parents and traditional leaders also came. At all networking meetings, the main concern is insufficient supply of STF newspapers. “Our partners always complain that the newspapers we send them are too few, yet the youth that come for them are

friendly services), PATH trainings of scouts, and Power of Hope workshops.

STF bursaries
Since 2002 STF has been able to assist a number of needy adolescents with schoolfees thanks to the generosity of students at Sudbury High School in Massachusetts and universities in Scotland. In 2006, with a grant from sister NGO Mvule Trust, STF expanded its scholarships, taking on 36 young people in war-affected Gulu district and 29 others countrywide. STF radio journalist Irene Kityui met Sam Namasake in the hills of Mbale. He had passed his primary leaving

STF counsellor Beatrice Bainomugisha listens to a Mvule Trust beneficiary in Bundibugyo district.


HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION exam with flying colours twice but did not have money for secondary school. Rather than drop out, he was about to sit through Primary 7 (seventh grade) for a third year in a row. STF paid for him to join a local high school. In 2006 he placed first in his class of 80. Annette Amony is from Gulu. Both her parents are dead. Despite a high pass at the end of primary, she could not afford secondary school and spent chaotic years caring for her younger sisters while hiding from rebels. At 14, she got a baby, a fact she concealed from STF/Mvule for most of 2006 for fear of losing her bursary. She began by studying bricklaying at a vocational school but performed so well she will return to study for O levels in 2007. STF is humbled by managing these adolescents. They need much more than schoolfees. In the north, where several are former rebel abductees and all are waraffected, all received monthly visits from Gulu Youth Centre worker, Christine Lamwaka. Countrywide by age 18, 41% of girls are married. About 17% of West Nile boys aged 13-18 are in secondary school, similar to the national average. In contrast to girls, only 6% of 18 year old boys are married. Nevertheless, they face the daunting challenge of generating a livelihood. The girls are among the lucky 5% of 13-18 year old girls who are in secondary school in West Nile. Most of their age mates are married. Below: Bright faces, hard stories: secondary school students in Nebbi. Says Lamwaka: “I discuss with them how they can achieve education by obeying school authorities and living well with other students and parents while at home. The good thing in 2006 was that we had no pregnancies or criminal offences.”

West Nile has the second lowest prevalence of HIV in the country at 2.7%. This is related to a lower rate of partner turnover among males.



Gulu Youth Centre
n 2006 peace appeared to be returning to northern Uganda. But the situation for adolescents Saturdays for the in school. On Wednesdays and Fridays its team visits an IDP camp to meet with youth, especially the camp-based peer educators, and to carry out VCT. On non-testing days at the centre in town, the counsellors and junior counsellors meet with youth, do outreach to town schools or out of school clubs. A health worker is always at the site to treat STDs, minor ailments and supply family planning. In 2006 GYC Set up in September 2003, in 2006 Gulu Youth Centre (GYC) was in its third year of operations. Funded by UPHOLD/USAID and Unicef, it was a one-stop youth centre, providing counselling, games, family planning, STD treatment and family planning and serving youth in Gulu town and five IDP camps: Palenga, Bobi, Pabbo, Awere and Alero. GYC is a project of STF with 23 staff, including a manager, clinical officer, nurse, two lab technicians, five counsellors and six full time youth workers (outstanding peer educators that have received substantial additional training, including as VCT counsellors). A radio journalist at GYC runs a live weekly radio and also meets weekly with out-of-school clubs. At its static site in Gulu town, GYC offers VCT on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the out-of-school and on VCT was one of the GYC’s biggest activities. In 2006 it carried out 7631 tests on youth, 5285 at the static site and 2346 in camps. At the static centre, slightly more males, 2737, tested than females, 2548. More females than males test in the 15-19 year old age group, and more males interacted with about 30,000 youth, roughly one-fifth of the youth population in Gulu. About 90 people visit the centre daily, six days a week in term time and five days a week in school holidays. This totals to 26,600 visitors. But since many are repeat visitors, the number of unique visitors is lower, probably around 15,000-20,000. In addition, GYC reached thousands more young people around the town and in the camps. School and peer education “caught” 4000 or so youth outside the static centre. and youth remained dramatic. The Uganda HIV/AIDS Sero-behavioural Survey (UHSBS, 2004-5) showed that, compared to the national figures, girls in the north had one third the level of condom use and twice the level of alcohol use. Northern Uganda has the highest HIV incidence and the third highest HIV prevalence in the country (8.3% of 15-49 year olds infected).

“Lurem” (friends or clients) waiting for VCT, health talks and general counselling at GYC.


HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION test than females in the 20-24 age group. Of the females, 5.8% were infected with HIV. For the males, the figure was 2.7%. These figures are in line with the UHSBS. Positive youth were referred to TASO. Despite this useful work, towards the end of 2006, STF began to feel that VCT was increasingly like the tail that wagged the dog -- coming to dominate GYC to the detriment of its other activities. This was doubly worrying because the relationship between VCT and staying safe is a tenuous one. Research from many parts of the world including Rakai, in southern Uganda, has found that HIV negative people who know their HIV status are no more likely to remain negative than those who do not know their status: possibly their behaviour Hungry for knowledge, out-of-school youth is disinhibited by the knowledge that they didStraight devour the new magazine-format not have the virus. Talk at a health fair in Kumi. While maintaining its targets for testing in 2006, GYC began to think about how to make it a more behaviour changing experience, especially for the majority who test negative. GYC made an enormous effort to reduce repeat testing, which is not only often a waste of resources but also used by some youth as a proxy for behaviour change. GYC strived to offer more follow-up, more couple testing, more general counselling and to link up VCT more with family planning and STD treatment. It stopped calling youth “clients” -- the usual term for people who test for HIV -- and instead began to refer By introducing “girl talks” once a week, more girloriented conversations on the live radio show and by generally becoming aware that gender is an issue, GYC was able to turn the situation around in a matter of months. By early 2007, 55% of those testing at the centre were girls, and girls were also slightly more in number than boys at health talks. Decongestion of the IDP camps and the return of peace will bring new challenges, but GYC is well positioned to respond to the needs of the youth in the district. In 2006 GYC also took steps to address gender. Though girls are twice as infected as boys, much less likely to be in school and much more likely to be married young, GYC was testing more boys than girls, and the centre had become a place where boys “chilled”. Girls would enter tentatively. GYC was also struggling to retain female peer educators. They were dropping out at a far higher rate than the males: some recently trained female peer educators were forbidden by parents and husbands to work at all. to anyone who came to the centre as “friends” (lurem in Lwo). And finally, all staff began to wear aprons for easy identification; this had the immediate beneficial effect of increasing the counselling interactions. Explains GYC manager Denis Kibwola: “Before if you entered the gate, you would not know who was a youth and who was a counsellor or peer educator. But the aprons made it clear, and now the youth counsellors are being approached all over the compound.”

A GYC counsellor helps a male larem with condom use. Only 17% of unmarried girls in northern Uganda reported condom use at last sex compared to 53% nationwide. In 2006 several Gulu secondary schools experienced a wave of pregnancies among their students, some of which ended in abortion, several of which ended in death.




and evaluation
assess listenership to the radio show: 61.8% had listened (females 62.8%; males 60.5%). Popular topics were HIV transmission, VCT and STDs: 87.3% of those who had listened reported they had learnt something useful. For the Lusoga show, STF interviewed 124 respondents in Bugiri, Jinja and Mayuge: 77.4% of boys and 59.7% of girls had listened. Of these, 63.7% reported that they had learnt something new. Popular topics were reducing sexual partners and faithfulness. • Kids Time STF visited 199 schools, interviewing 193 administrators and 191 teachers: 33% of administrators and 28% of teachers had read the newspaper. • Distribution survey STF evaluated the distribution of STF newspapers in Apac, Lira, Masaka, Rakai, Tororo and Mbale. The researchers recommended that one person in the district education office be responsible for the newspapers. They also noted that in rural areas overaged children are the norm with 14 year olds in P4. Young Talk may not provide them with the information they need. • Assessment of youth friendliness at Gulu Youth Centre (GYC) STF conducted 301 exit interviews with 176 males and 125 females aged 16-18. Over a third had heard about the centre from a friend, and another third from the radio. Respondents were positive about the location of the center, hours of operation, services provided, the staff, peer education, counseling, privacy, confidentiality, time spent while waiting to be served, and the availability of Young Talk and Straight Talk. STF concluded that the GYC meets most characteristics of a youth-friendly center.


TF is an evidenced-based organisation, basing its work on national data and using internally collected

data to understand how, why or why not its efforts might be effective. In 2006 the four STF researchers carried out numerous mini-evaluations, follow-ups and investigations. 2006 was also a year in which more data came in from the large Population Council impact survey.

Internal evaluations
• Parent Talk newspaper STF investigated the reach and readership of the Luganda and English Parent Talk. In Luwero and Mukono, STF interviewed 300 parents. About 12% had seen the newspaper. Those who had found it useful. The low reach confirmed STF’s decision to switch Parent Talk onto radio. • Health fairs and local language newspapers In Kumi, Ntungamo and Kanungu, STF held 13 focus group discussions with out-of-school youth aged 1019 to assess their awareness of STF health fairs and local language newspapers. The findings vindicated STF’s decision in 2006 to shift from large health fairs at the district headquarters to mini sub-county fairs. Young people had heard about the fairs from radio and posters. Those who had attended a health fair said they went mainly to get HIV/AIDS information, condoms and VCT. Most of the young people knew of the Straight Talk local language newspaper. • Kupsabiny and Lusoga radio shows (CORE) In Kapchorwa, STF interviewed 123 respondents to

External: Population Council
In 2005-6, Population Council began STF’s first external evaluation, seeking to answer the questions: “Do adolescents exposed to STF materials have higher knowledge and more positive attitudes towards safer behaviours than those who are not exposed? Do adolescents who are exposed to STF materials practice


HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION more safe behaviours than those who are not exposed?” There were three major parts to this study: • a community survey, house to house, in six districts in which 2040 unmarried adolescents were interviewed along with 736 parents. • a school survey to evaluate the impact of STF’s teacher sensitisations (560 teachers interviewed). • an analysis of the relative costs of reaching adolescents through print, radio and interpersonal means (conducted with Family Health International). With communication channels, the Population Council The community survey found high exposure rates to STF media products, especially local language radio. It further found that exposure to STF materials is significantly statistically associated, after multivariate analysis, with numerous positive outcomes. These include: • in males and females, greater knowledge about HIV and ASRH and greatly increased HIV testing. • in males, secondary abstinence and greater seriousness about current sexual relationship. • in females, greater self-confidence and more equitable gender attitudes. The parent survey found that 60% of parents had been exposed to STF materials: 41% had seen an STF newspaper and 55% had listened to the radio show. Exposed parents were more knowledgeable about HIV and reproductive health and several times more likely study found interesting synergies. Where there is a Straight Talk radio programme in the local language, readership of the English STF papers is almost doubled and schools are three times more likely to have a Straight Talk club. Finally, the study noted in its conclusions that STF has been particularly successful at conveying messages to adolescents about delaying sexual debut, secondary abstinence, faithfulness and STIs. However, it also noted that “results for messages about gender attitudes, pregnancy, condoms and nuances of HIV transmission are mixed, and indicate a need to refine, reinforce and repeat information on these topics”. 2007 will see STF striving to understand these results and continually improve its approaches. to have tested for HIV than unexposed parents, though these findings have yet to be subjected to multivariate analysis. The school survey found that STF’s teacher training is significantly associated with teachers feeling more confident to talk with students about sexuality and that Straight Talk newspaper is the leading material used by all secondary school health and AIDS clubs in Uganda. However, given its costs of $2.74 per person reached in school and $3.63 per person reached per health fair, STF’s outreach programme may need re-working to achieve more impact.

Conducting research on Mount Moroto in Karamoja: asking questions and listening.




STF deputy director and editor Teopista Agutu with students in Monrovia.


TF has a myriad of partnerships. Many have been mentioned on earlier pages or previous annual

Trust for five years in return for a $150,000 grant to renovate STF’s new building. Both NGOs have enjoyed the synergy. In its first year Mvule Trust granted funds to six implementers, including the URDT Girls School and Nyabyeya Forestry College, putting over 1300 adolescents in school, 65% of them girls.

reports. In 2006 particularly rewarding partnerships included:

World Association of Newspapers
In November 2006 STF editors Teopista Agutu and Betty Kagoro flew to Liberia to help students to put together a newspaper for peers. Working in a cinderblock school in rainy Monrovia, the editors and students came up with The Classroom. Says Agutu: “Liberia is where Uganda was 15 years ago with many small newspapers and broken down infrastructure. But the students were super bright.”

Reaching parents in Busoga
An IPH/CDC fellow designed, wrote and distributed 3000 posters, 5000 brochures and 5000 flyers for parents in Busoga on couple counseling and testing, male participation, couple dialogue as a key to HIV prevention, and parent child communication. Three radio spots were also developed and aired for a period of 6 months.

Mvule Trust
This new NGO exists to provide bursaries for postprimary education, with a focus on girls and science. In 2006 STF undertook to house and support Mvule



Finance and administration
TF’s expenditure budget increased from about 5.3 billion UGX in 2005 to almost 6 billion UGX in

Emphasis of spending
2006 was the first year in which spending on radio almost equalled spending on print. This was due to the addition of four new radio shows and the production of radio spots for PSI/CDC.

2006. At 1800 UGX to the US dollar, this amounted to about $3.1 million. In 2006 STF continued to receive funds from four longstanding core donors: DCI-Ireland Aid (368,164,650 UGX), the UK’s Department for International Development (Dfid) (1,310,737,247 UGX), Sweden’s SIDA (470,000,000 UGX) and Denmark’s DANIDA (1,142,888,760 UGX). These four donors contributed funds for costs such as rent, utilities and salaries. With respect to activities, among other things, DCI-Ireland funded radio shows in Ateso, Lukonzo and 4rs; Dfid funded Young Talk and Straight Talk and much of the radio broadcasting; SIDA funded primary teacher sensitisations, health fairs and local language Straight Talks, and Lwo Straight Talk radio; and DANIDA funded Young Talk and Straight Talk as well as Farm Talk in full. STF received considerable funding, amounting to about 1.35 billion UGX, from USAID and US government sources. CORE supported radio shows and community work in the Lusoga and Kupsabinyspeaking areas. UPHOLD supported the Gulu Youth Centre and some Parent Talk radio shows. Parent Talk and Kid Time newspapers were funded by BEPS, the USAID project in the Ministry of Education. Path-Kenya funded the production of Scouts Voice; the Rock Point radio drama was funded through the Yeah project. Multilateral support came from the UN World Food Programme for the Tree Talk project. STF also received support from Unicef for the Gulu Youth Centre, for radio shows for adults in Lwo, and for the production of leaflets for adolescents in IDP camps. In December 2006, STF received funds from Unicef to start a youth centre in Kitgum. UNFPA helped to support the youth radio shows in Lusamia and English.

In total STF’s radio shows cost about 776,918,806 UGX while Straight Talk newspaper cost 251,238,327 UGX and Young Talk about 295,678,940 UGX. Increasing the spend on radio relative to print is part of STF’s strategic plan to reach the out-of-school and the less literate. Year 2004 2005 2006 Radio 8% 16% 18% Print 53% 37% 19%

About 265,017,275 UGX was spent on outreach and training and 498,299,649 UGX on Gulu Youth Centre. Because of the youth centres in Gulu and Kitgum and the growth of Tree Talk’s planting project, the proportion of STF funds spent directly on mass communication declined from 53% in 2005 to 45% in 2006. In early 2007 STF embarked on a large process to produce consolidated general purpose audited accounts for 2004-2006. These will be presented in the Annual Report for 2007.



Department for

International Development




is evidenced-based. It addresses the HIV epidemic in all its heterogeneity. is committed to new and healthier gender relations. The current construction of masculinity and feminity prevents defeat of poverty, HIV and other tragedies. promotes a scientific understanding of HIV and other social problems. It aspires to accuracy and clarity in its science reporting. recognises the social role of sex. HIV prevention efforts fail when sexuality is not at their centre.

Anne Akia Fiedler joined Straight Talk, the newspaper, as its editor in 1994. She worked tirelessly to turn the paper into an NGO and was the cofounder of Straight Talk Foundation in 1997. For the next nine years she served as programme director with integrity and distinction. STF was heartbroken but proud when Anne left in late 2006 to become chief of party of the USAID project, AIDS Capacity Enhancement. In 2007 she received a Masters in Public Health/ International Track with honours from the University of Washington.
Dr Peter Cowley, Chief of Party, Business PART Project Rev G Byamugisha , Church/FBO Partnership Resource Person Dr Frank Kaharuza, Director, Research, CDC/UVRI Aggrey Kibenge Principal Assistant Secretary, Minstry of Education Charles Odere, Advocate, Lex Uganda Hon E Tumwesigye Member of Parliament, HIV/STD specialist Anne Akia Fiedler, Chief of Party, ACE Cathy Watson, Director, STF, Ex-oficio


Plot 4 Acacia Avenue, Kololo, P.O. Box 22366 Kampala, Uganda, Tel: (256 31) 262030, 262031, Mobile: (256 71) 486258, 486259, Fax: (256 41) 534858 Email:,, website:

Design: Micheal eB. Kalanzi

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