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I n 2008 Straight Talk Foundation

(STF) produced over 8 million

newspapers and 4,000 half-hour
radio shows for adolescents and
adults. It reached over 180,000
young people and parents through

its face-to-face work.

STF’s materials are the main and

often only source of affirming,

values-based and scientifically-
accurate information on HIV, sexuality

and growing up in most Ugandan

STF sends its materials to 18,000

schools, 1,700 health centres and
1,100 churches and mosques, and
1600 CBOs. It also works with 450

STF creates “conversations” to address

the drivers of HIV epidemic and bring
about social change.
Report Design: Michael eB. Kalanzi

In 2008 STF had 63 staff and interns in its head office in Kampala.
However, with teams constantly traveling upcountry, it was never possible
to get them all together. The above photo was taken in December 2008 as
the year wound up. In total STF has 124 staff across Uganda.

Plot 4 Acacia Avenue, Kololo, P.O. Box 22366 Kampala, Uganda, Tel: (256 31) 262030, 262031,
Fax: (256 41) 534858, Email:, Website:,
General Scribd site: Communication for Social Change

context, STF holds community fairs and advocacy meetings

and sends its papers to MPs, district leaders and other

forward to a safer
social change: it encourages
CBOs operate at this level and are influenced

dialogue to help people

Finally, to have impact on the larger community and political

and how to move

by and are key outlets for STF materials.

define who they are,

practices communication for
opinionmakers. Health units, faith groups and

what they need

to change people. Instead it
Finally, STF is not “messaging”

critical thinking and

is a Ugandan NGO, set up in 1997. It grew out of a

teen newspaper, Straight Talk, which was started
in 1993. Today it practises
for Social change. Its main focus is
preventing HIV in ADOLescents.

STF takes a Family-centred and life cycle

approach and follows a sexual health promotion
model. It increasingly works with Parents.
Parents who are present and who have a good
relationship with their adolescents are Super-
protectors. STF also supports parents to
have their own safer and healthy sexual lives.

Respecting the primacy of mother tongue

languages, in 2008 STF worked in 14
languages. STF’s communication channels
are Radio, print and face-to-face.

STF’s is concerned for the well-being of all

adolescents and their families. However, it
is particularly concerned about most-at-
Girls and
risk adolescents, especially
adolescents living in conflict.

STF Board of Directors

Board chair: Aggrey Kibenge, Principal Asst Sec., Ministry of Educ. & Sports
Rev Gideon Byamugisha, Christian Aid
Anne Akia Fiedler, Chief of Party, ACE
Dr Frank Kaharuza, Director, Research, CDC/UVRI

in their environment with interventions at all the layers of

STF follows an “ecological model,” addressing individuals
Justina Kihika, Freelance Consultant

influence around the individual. The adolescent is at

Oliva Muhumuza, Headteacher, Railway Children’s Primary School

the core of the model, under the first arch of the

Charles Odere, Advocate, Lex Uganda
Dorothy Oulanyah, HIV specialist/OVC/Prevention, UNICEF

rainbow, benefitting from youth newspapers,

Hon Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, Member of Parliament
Catharine Watson, Executive Director, STF, Ex-oficio C Odere Rev Byamugisha

radio shows and face-to-face work.

At the next layer, STF addresses

parents and teachers: the most
important adults in the lives
of adolescents. For them,
STF produces Parent Talk
radio and Teacher Talk
newspaper. It also

to-face work in
conducts face-

schools and
Aggrey Kibenge A Fiedler F Kaharuza J Kihika O Muhumuza
sex and Table of
education: Contents
In Uganda early sex Message from the Director 2
is prejudicial to the
education of both PRINT 3
boys and girls. Boys Letter analysis 8-9
ST & YT at a glance 10
who start sex while
Distribution 12
still in primary school
are 1.5 times more TREE TALK & FARM TALK 13
likely not to complete
secondary school than STF CONCEPTUAL THINKING 16
their peers who have
not started sex. Girls RADIO 17
who have sex after Youth journalist profile 21
completing primary Map: ST youth radio shows 22
school are two times Radio topics 23
more likely not to Radio partnerships 26
proceed to secondary
school than peers
Outreach and training 28
who are still virgins. Gulu Youth Centre 32
They are also nearly Kitgum Youth Centre 34
two times as likely to
leave secondary school SPECIAL PROJECTS/EVENTS 35
before completing.
Biddlecom, AE., R
and CLloyd. 2008.
“Associations between
Premarital Sex and
Leaving School in Four
Sub-Saharan African
Countries.” Studies
in Family Planning
12(4):337-350 ABC Abstain, Be faithful, Condom use
ARVs Anti-Retrovirals
ASRH Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health
CBO Community-based Organization
DHS Demographic and Health Survey
FAO Food and Agricultural Organisation
FGD Focus group discussion
GYC Gulu Youth Centre
HCT HIV counselling and testing
IDI In-depth interview
IDP Internally Displaced Person
KYC Kitgum Youth Centre
LRA Lord’s Resistance Army
MoES Ministry of Education and Sports
NGO Non-governmental organisation
OVC Orphans and vulnerable children
PEP Post-exposure prophylaxis
PEPFAR President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief
Prevention of mother-to-child transmission
PSI Population Services International
Girls and boys who 4Rs Runyankole/Rukiga/Rutoro/Runyoro
SGBV Sexual and gender-based violence
are exposed to STF
SRH Sexual and Reproductive Health
materials are more STD Sexually Transmitted Disease
likely to talk to their STF Straight Talk Foundation
parents about body UGX Uganda shillings
changes and growing up UHSBS Uganda HIV/AIDS Sero-behavioural Survey
VCT Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV
than those who are not
WFP World Food Programme
exposed. (Population
Council, 2007)
Message from the Executive Director

n 2008, STF celebrated term review of our 2006-10
15 years of working to Strategic Plan. I had worried that
keep adolescents safe. youth would say that we were
We had a cake and showed monotonous. After all, we have
our staff, some of whom talked about sex, love and HIV for
were aged just four in 1993, 15 years. But far from finding us
copies of early Straight Talks. dull, adolescents and adults were
As I waved the yellowing fulsome in their praise.
newspapers, it was hard to
resist shouting: “We didn’t “STF materials are like our Bible.
have a single vehicle then, They guide us on right messaging”
and we hadn’t heard of per said one CBO leader. “I get
diems!” information from Young Talk,” said
a girl, 15. “When I get it I call my
Back at my desk, an email friends to discuss how to solve our
came through: “Hi, I am problems.”
Jonathan, a Straight Talk
volunteer. I congratulate There is a new sexual generation
you for the 15 years... but every five years so perhaps such
perhaps you do not know findings were not surprising.
what Straight Talk has done Nevertheless, we were bolstered
for people like me. I first read by them and feel surer than ever of
it in 1995. We called it ‘the the robustness of our approach.
newspaper that shows girls’
vaginas’. My Mum gave it to Our model entails rich and
me, and it has helped me complex but not complicated
stay strong.” conversations. We work in many
languages through print, radio and
I laughed but I was also face-to-face. Constant feedback
moved: working for adolescents is a privilege. keeps us smart and in touch.

For supporting STF in 2008, we thank the Civil At the 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference in
Society Fund, Danida, Dfid, Irish Aid and USAID. We Mexico, Dr David Wilson of the World Bank said that
also thank SIDA whose funds kept Kitgum Youth to roll back HIV, we must: “Do the right thing, do it
Centre open in 2008. We recognise with gratitude right, and do enough of it.”
Cordaid, Unicef, MAIA and other partners.
STF does the right thing. And we mostly do it right.
We have used their monies well. In 2008 our staff But we do not do enough of it. There are linguistic
met face-to-face with over 200,000 youth, parents groups as yet unreached, most-at-risk-adolescents
and teachers. We also reached 687,000 secondary who are under-reached, and entire conversations
students with Straight Talk and about one million that we have not yet had: e.g., how should an
pupils with Young Talk. We estimate that seven adolescent in a polygamous union manage sex?
million 10-24 year olds and five million adults
listened to our radio shows. This is considerable With five new HIV infections for every one person
value for $3 million a year. going on ARVs, we have to do more of the right
thing, do it right and do it fast.
In 2008 our work was singled out as world class. In
The Lancet on HIV prevention in August 2008, STF This report provides “thick” description of what
was one of very few NGOs mentioned by name. In a we do. Communication for social change and
section on “educating young people frankly about preventing HIV are not simple. We have to stay sex
sex”, Dr Peter Piot of UNAIDS wrote: “HIV/AIDS positive in the face of tragedy and affirm peoples’
budgets should support campaigns... designed to lives while wanting them to change. This report
reach young people (such as) Uganda’s “straight describes how we make our way through those
talk”. conundra. Thank you for reading it.

However, most affirming in 2008 was our mid- Catharine Watson - Executive Director


A young woman in Katakwi
clasps a copy of Straight Talk
in Ateso, the language of
northeast Uganda. She also
holds an STF prize, a basin.

Local language Straight Talks

are for young people who
are out-of-school. Because
marriage follows departure
from school very closely for
most girls, these papers cover
family planning and PMTCT.

For boys there is a particular

stress on reducing numbers
of sexual partners and
eschewing intimate partner

TF has its roots in print,
having grown out of a
newspaper, Straight Talk,
which was started in October

“Print” remains STF’s public face.

Excluding salaries, in 2008 STF
spent about $375,320 (UGX 715
million) or 11% of its total budget
on newspapers; excluding salaries,
85% went on printing the papers.
Although STF now spends more
than twice as much on radio as it
does on print, its newspapers are
its record -- what is passed from
hand to hand and finally used to
wrap books.

In 2008 STF’s newspapers focused

on responding to readers’ needs,
never fobbing them off with glib or
half-baked statements. This effort
brought rewards. Letters more
than doubled to Straight Talk and
Young Talk, STF’s flagship papers.

Both newspapers are four-paged

and full colour. Together they cost
$207,000 (UGX 394 million) a year,
excluding salaries.

Straight Talk is designed for older

adolescents and young adults who
can read. Uganda has 5.1 million
15 to 24 year olds, of whom about
30% can read English. If 13 and 14
year olds in lower secondary are
included, Straight Talk has over 1.5
million potential readers, including
955,000 secondary students,
Immersed: primary pupils in Moroto read a Young Talk on
50,000 vocational students, and defilement. This issue took considerable delicacy. STF journalists
several hundred thousand young worried that the cartoon of a man seizing a girl might be salacious.
people who have left secondary A balance was struck. The cartoon was used but the girl’s thigh was
school before completing. covered.

Newspaper/print material Issues Print run Copies/2008

Calendar (ST and YT) 2 230,000 460,000
Straight Talk 10 250,000-300,000 2,700,000
Straight Talk in local languages - - - -
Young Talk 10 330,000-430,000 3,700,000
Farm Talk 3 160,000 480,000
Tree Talk 1 250,000 250,000
Straight Talk Sudan - - -
EHM English 1 300,000 300,000
Teacher Talk 2 300,000 600,000
Scouts Voice (Kenya) 2 60,000 120,000
Scouts Voice (Uganda) 2 50,000 100,000
TOTAL publications 35 8,700,000


In 2008 each secondary school received 30 Straight adolescence is unwise, they risk turning off
Talk copies a month, one copy for every 13 to 19 hundreds of thousands of readers who may be
students, depending on school size. having sex or are about to have it. So the papers try
to affirm all adolescents, including those exhibiting
Young Talk is for young adolescents in primary behaviours that are risky for the adolescent. The
school. Uganda has 4.8 million 10 to 14 year olds, papers also take an understanding tone if an
over 80% of whom attend school. Each school adolescent writes in about a sexual experience.
received 28 Young Talks a month in 2008, one for But they then “nudge” the reader towards stopping
every 11 pupils. sex or condom use, if
sex cannot be postponed
In 2008 STF surveyed all altogether.
primary and secondary
schools by post. Of the Fifteen years of work with
2327 primary schools adolescents has taught
that responded, 81% had STF that sex is rarely
received a copy of Young consequence-free, even if
Talk. Distance from Kampala condoms are used. Besides
is not a factor: 96% of health consequences, there
schools that responded are educational ones.
from far away Moyo and
Busia had received the Ugandan boys and girls
paper compared to 65% of who have sex early are
schools from nearby Mpigi. twice as likely not to
complete secondary school
A total of 720 secondary as adolescents who have
schools responded out of never had sex (see p1).
3083 surveyed: 83% had Currently only 10% of boys
received Straight Talk in and 8% of girls complete
2008; 32% said they had secondary school in Uganda
received all nine issues; (DHS, 2006).
59% had received more than
five. Young For people from Europe or
adolescents North America who believe
With largely in-school readerships, both are aware of and that adolescents have a right to sex, STF’s
papers are age-appropriate. Straight Talk often curious about stress on delaying or stopping sex may
recognizes that its readers may be falling sexuality. They need sound repressive. But life in Uganda is
correct information
in love or desiring sex, and so it provides profoundly precarious.
about body changes.
comprehensive sexuality education,
covering, for example, In the US, sex with a peer for
condoms, family planning and a boy, 17, will not lead to his
love relationships. imprisonment. But in Uganda
thousands of boys are in jail for
Young Talk supports young consensual sex with girls aged
adolescents to stay in school, less than 18. Parents of many
understand body changes, grow more have had to sell land and
their life skills and manage livestock to keep their sons out
difficult life circumstances, of jail.
like loss of parents, living with
HIV and pressures to start sex. Similarly, sex for a girl, 17,
Children in early adolescence in Denmark will not lead to
are always too young physically, her leaving school forever,
emotionally and socially to start In the field: delivering unassisted, and
sex, although many have. Director of Print becoming the wife of a man with other
Teopista Agutu wives. Yet about 50% of adolescent girls
Getting the tone right interviews a father in in Uganda give birth attended only by a
For both of its in-school papers, STF’s relative or traditional birth attendant or
“bottom line” is to generate conversations alone: 17% are in polygamous unions.
that will motivate readers to continue postponing or
to stop sex until older. However, STF has to strive to All Ugandan adolescents know girls who have died
be sex positive. in childbirth or from aborting. All know peers who
have left school due to pregnancy. So it may also be
If the papers say too categorically that sex in that adolescents do not object to “conversations”


about postponing sex, even if pregnant my boyfriend told me
they are having sex. to abort,” narrated one girl.
“But from Straight Talk I found
Researchers for the STF mid- that abortion can lead to death.
term review found none So I told my boyfriend and he
complaining about STF’s tone also feared. I gave birth and my
on sex. STF seems to create parents have taken me back to
sufficient “conversations” on school.”
condoms and relationships that
the sexually active feel included. This suggests that
communication projects might
Mid-term review focus less on key messages than
This evaluation found that on a broad “talk” menu so that
adults and young people were every beneficiary finds something
profoundly appreciative of STF useful, regardless of their place
papers. They described them on the continuum of risk.
as comprehensive, interactive,
relevant and consistent and For teachers
ascribed impacts to them that, if In 2008, STF continued to
true, are deeply positive. produce Teacher Talk. Launched
in 2004, this paper aims to
Said a teacher in Bugiri: “Your improve teaching and learning
papers help students to be aware and support Uganda’s 127,177
of STDs and how to proceed primary teachers to live healthier
against acquiring the deadly sexual lives. The biggest group
disease. They help them to create of public servants, these teachers
healthier relationships with earn about $110 a month: morale
teachers and fellow students. is low. The paper encourages
They make them realize how far teachers to be “better” - drink
to relate with different people. A young less, plan lessons, never have sex
They get confidence to talk freely about mother, 19, in with pupils -- while affirming them.
sex-related issues.” Gulu: For married
adolescents and Funded by UNITY (MoES/USAID) in 2008,
Said a teacher in Kasese: “I have seen young mothers, STF the February 2008 issue was on HIV/AIDS-
envisons safer and
my students benefiting from the papers friendly schools and the July issue on
happier lives, with
since I started teaching.” spaced births, no teacher absenteeism. Mid-term findings
domestic violence were positive. A teacher in Kasese said:
Adolescents appeared to take what they and good couple “Teacher Talk has taught us about our
needed from the papers at the time communication. own problems. These things of HIV and
they were reading them. The question adolescents... people think we know them
“what have you learnt from STF papers?” STF designers but we are just learning.”
provoked a wide range of answers. Some and print
said “listen to my parents”. Others said: journalists: Allan
“test for HIV”; others said “avoid bad Bulamu, Dennis
Pato, Deo Agaba,
Martha Akello,
Michael Kalanzi,
Many cited safer decisions they had Edith Kimuli, Gilbert
made after reading them. “When I was Awekofua and
George Mukasa.


Rocket science: crafting newspapers that generate talk

n 2008 an American public health expert Hibiscus” (role models/inspiration); and a half
visited STF. She recounted how she goes on page of readers’ questions.
consultancies with an old issue of Straight
Talk. Laughing, she said: “I tell behaviour change The issue featured 31 young people from all
projects -- Do something like this. It’s not rocket over Uganda (balancing ethnicity is critical).
science.” The STF editors accepted the compliment Each A3 page had no more than 650 words
but begged to differ. Producing a Straight Talk or mixed with drawings, cartoons and photos, “We
Young Talk is rocket science. It is the hardest brief illustrate whenever possible,” says print director,
at STF. Topi Agutu. “Most readers have low levels of
English. When we have a mass of text, they can
The first hurdle is that Uganda is not yet a reading hardly find where to start.”
culture, and adult literacy is low. Ugandans
associate reading with exams; just 25% of mothers Although no issue is perfect, there is a good
of adolescents have completed primary school. chance that most readers found something that
spoke to them in this Straight Talk.
The second is how to create the
almost indefinable mix of content
that will “work” for most, if not
all, readers. The readers appear
homogeneous -- “youth in school”
or “youth who read English” -- but,
in reality, they are sliced and diced
by fault lines. Half are girls, half
boys. Just half live with both parents;
8% have neither parent alive. Most
have not had sex, but some have.
Of those, some have had consensual
sex, others forced.

The content must have meaning for

the orphaned girl leaving school to
marry; the girl destined for university
but abused by her uncle; the boy,
15, who has never had a wet dream;
the boy, 15, bothered by erections in
class, and so on. So it must be rich
and varied. At the same time, the
papers cannot be dense.

The July 2008 Straight Talk on rape

shows how STF tries to balance such
conflicting demands. It dedicated two
and a half pages to how to avoid/
resist rape, what to do if raped (PEP),
and survivors’ stories. These pages
were probably most avidly read by Above, girl reads the
Straight Talk on rape.
Left: STF counsellor Beatrice
For readers less anxious about rape Bainomugisha uses it in a
- e.g. boys - and for those having or school session. Fifty per cent
thinking of having sex, the paper had a of girls report “bad” touches
half page of condom questions. at primary school. Forced sex
is common. STF strives to help
girls protect themselves. “I
Interesting for both genders and for
used to move at night. Then
adolescents at all stages of maturation I read in Young Talk that you
were articles on “what is the hymen?”; may be raped. So I stopped,”
Obama, and the Nigerian novel “Purple said a girl, 17.


Letter analysis of Young Talk and Straight Talk

etters more than doubled to
STF’s youth papers in 2008. Young Talk response by sex
Every letter to STF is logged 1600 1515
for age, gender, schooling status, Male
district and topic. This generates Female
rich data. 1200

number of letters
Gender 1000
Historically, girls have always
800 695
written more to Young Talk than 627
boys. This was again true in 2008 600
with 62% of letters coming from 433
girls. 400
Boys out-number girls at
secondary school (52% vs 48%).
So it was noteworthy that in 2008 0
girls surged for the first time ye a r 2 0 0 6 ye a r 2 0 0 7 ye a r 2 0 0 8
ahead of boys, writing 67% of years
letters to Straight Talk.
Straight Talk response by sex
STF has been making great efforts
to help girls and has perhaps 2500 2255
become better attuned to them. Male
If this is the case, it is profoundly 2000
positive. Girls are at far greater 1702
number of letters

risk than boys.

Compared to male agemates, by
age 18-19 girls are 902 931
• 18 times more likely to have 1000 775
HIV (3.9% vs 0.2%).
• eight times more likely to be 500
• four times less likely to be 0
in school. (DHS, NAS, 2006; y ear 2006 y ear 2007 y ear 2008
UHSBS, 2004-5) years

Most young people who write to

the papers are seeking help. But Categories of ST letters

there are gender differences here

as well. Boys are far more likely reques t f emale
than girls to offer advice or try to male
win Straight Talk quiz questions. apprec iation
Girls are twice as likely to ask for

res pons e to quiz

adv ic e to others

s eeking A dv ic e

0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400

num ber of letters

In early 2009 intern Gina written more for boys than girls
Akley analysed the Straight Talk - possibly a reflection of the need
newspapers of 2008. She found to “change” boys so as to help girls.
an equal distribution of girl- There were slightly more “girl”
focused and boy-focused articles. articles focused on sex, possibly
However, articles addressing because of the need to address
gender equality tended to be coerced sex in the lives of girls.


Age of readers/concerns Young Talkers are also deeply
In 2008 the mean ages of writers to Young Talk and Straight Talk were concerned about “sex”, often
13.4 and 16.8 respectively. asking hypothetical queries. E.g.
Salume in P7 asked Young Talk:
Young Talkers are far more concerned about body changes than Straight “If a girl who has been in her
Talkers. This is not surprising as the average female Young Talker is period plays sex with a boy of 5
about to start menstruating. years, will she get pregnant?”

YT Topics In contrast, Straight Talkers

are most concerned about
gif t 12
relationships and condom
general health 78 use, suggesting that they are
pregnanc y 109 grappling more with the realities

f orc ed marriage 26 of sex.

relations hip 103
v irginity 30 Gender differences
c ulture 9 Boys and girls are equally
likely to ask Straight Talk about
body c hanges 210
relationships and condoms.
c ondoms 23
STD 66 However, girls are two to three
s ex 230 times more likely to ask about
0 50 100 150 200 250 body changes, pregnancy and
num ber of letters marriage. In contrast, boys are
far more concerned about STDs.

ST Topics Regional distribution

Straight Talk and Young Talk
g ift 29 received letters from 71 out
g e n e ra l h e a lth 116 of 80 districts in 2008. Top
p re g n a n cy 123 responders included Masaka,
Busia, Kaliro, Arua, Kabale,
fo rce d m a rria g e 93
Kasese and Ntungamo. There
re la tio n s h ip 489
were no letters from new

virg in ity 80 districts such as Bukwa.

cu ltu re 23

b o d y ch a n g e s 218 Leading the regional response

400 to Young Talk was the West: with
co n d o m s
25% of the population, it sent in
31% of the letters. Leading the
s ex 292
response to Straight Talk was the
0 100 200 300 400 500 East: with 26% of the population,
number of letters it sent in 40% of the letters.

Straight talk Topics by Sex


Gif t (trans ac tional s ex ) Fe m a le

Ma le
General Health

Pregnanc y

V irginity

Relations hips

Body c hanges


Sex related

0 50 100 150 200 250 300

number of letters


Straight Talk at a glance in 2008
Most people with HIV Ah, off to drink Youth volunteers at STF Boys, is your
who come out and
Inspiration again! If men worked
I love my father a leader
as much as us, our or a ruler? Girls,
tell others, get a big Corner family would be
culture and are talkative
surprise! They get Hey, Straight Talkers! You richer.
love and comfort. It can win a copy of Purple am proud appreciated in
stops the whispering
and stigma (see page
Hibiscus, a beautiful novel to be a your village?
Why? Why not?
by Nigerian writer
3). It also makes it Chimamanda Adichie. She Karimojong Send true
easier to get the stories and win
wrote it when she was Uganda is
medicine you must a copy of
just 23. Send a story, committed to
empowering Dreams from
have such as Septrin written like a novel, to PO
women by 2015. Nakiru my Father, by
and TB treatment. Box 22366 Kampala. Barak Obama,
8 Tereza, Straight Talkers, what do you do in
March 200 Tell us how many hours your mother 2008 Democratic
Vol. 14 No.2 works compared to your father. Is it No.3 May Moroto your long vacs? ST is looking for
Vol. 14 young people aged 18-21 who speak candidate for
equal? WRITE TO PO BOX 22366 KLA
This year theing
Lukonzo, Ateso, Kupsabiny and 8 US president.
6 June 200
Lugbara! Send your CV Vol. 14 No.
world is mark
to PO Box 22366 Kampala.

Disclosure 25yrs
since HIVed
Beautiful Karamoja
W hat do you know about Karamoja? The Karimojong
are Ugandans with strong traditions. This has made
Telling your life as a novel Chimamanda Adichie is the

n February 2006, Straight

sets you free and openly told them that I was brought me drugs always attracted attention.
some people feel negatively about them. Yet their society
has strengths that we can learn from.

Straight Talk travelled to Karamoja to get beautiful stories

to share with you. Read on....
author of Purple Hibiscus.
She wrote it when she was
23, the same age as many
Straight Talkers. She is a
role model and inspiration.
In February we asked Straight Talkers to write short stories: almost 100
responded. As promised, 20 of you win copies of the novel Purple Hibiscus. Ten
runner up winners will each get a T-shirt. Thanks to Dokolo Progressive
SS, Ruhaama SS, Agwata SS and Isoke Memorial in Kitgum for being star
schools! We especially liked Annet’s story. When you start reading, you do not
want to stop! Enjoy reading. Please note that some of the stories are fiction.

I Talk wrote about Proscovia, a

student of Rock High School in
the one. I told them I wanted to let
other people know that
Children would say: 'TASO has come'. This made me
feel uneasy. But now I face no problem like that. Less HIV in Karamoja
Tororo who is living with HIV.
Do you remember?

Since then we kept in contact

someone can live with HIV like
any other chronic sickness.

I got more friends

I take ARVS openly
I used to take my drugs
secretly. Sometimes I
Did you know that the prevalence of HIV in Karamoja is very low? Of
Karimojong aged 15-49, less than 1% have HIV. This is far less than the
national figure of 6.4% and far far less than the over 8% of 15-49 year
A love story gone wrong
By Namagembe Annet, Dokolo I screamed at him. “Easy,” he said smiling
with Proscovia and in February After that Straight Talk, would even miss doses. olds in the Central and Central North who have the virus. The
Progressive Secondary School sheepishly. I broke into tears.
we decided to see her again. So many people showed me But now that everybody question here is, why? We tried to find out. One reason, it seems, is
we travelled to Tororo. care. Even those who did knows I have HIV, I take that they are serious on sex and marriage. I was the type of girl As I dressed, I noticed that wounds had developed
not talk to me before started them in the open. who easily gave in between my legs, and I was
First we met Mr Matanda Silver, greeting me. They do not Adikyo, an Elder from Naduket Moroto told us: to peer pressure. discharging blood.
her deputy headmaster. He said want to see me lonely. I The teachers also "In Karimojong culture, boys and girls below 18 do not If I had resisted But Peter was
that there were other students have become popular. I became more interested marry, and sex before marriage is a taboo. When a young the influence of courteous to lead
with HIV in the school, but freely mix among other in me. They joke with me back to school.
Proscovia was the only one who students whether at school me a lot. I think they just man of 20 years or above wants to marry, he will identify a my friends, I
mature girl. He will negotiate with her parents for would be telling But this courtesy
had "gone public". or at the hostel. like to make me happy.
All this attention makes brideprice, which he pays and marries her. Most you a glorious ended there.
Then we met Proscovia herself, now in No more name me feel loved. Some Karimojong men marry one wife. One can marry another experience. But Weeks later he was
S6 and offering HEG and Divinity. She calling would tell me: 'Why wife only if the first wife cannot give birth. But still he does found bragging
this is what
told us that when she disclosed her HIV Before my didn’t you tell us before?" Says Proscovia's friend not divorce her. " among boys that
status to the world, her life changed story, CDC happened to
Juliet: "At times she he had used me.
forever for the better. Here is her story. staff who Hope for the me.
"After that would talk like has This young warrior is holding his Boys began to
future given up, but I would tell resent speaking to
Many people rushed to me after Straigh t Talk, I got the courage to traditional stool. See page 3 and My friends got me a
her that many people learn how it is also a pillow. me while girls out
seeing my photograph and I got more love become open after out there have similar boyfriend. Peter was
rightly abused me
story. They asked me and can take counseling from problems." tall, handsome, gentle
questions, like: TASO and Centre for as a ‘finished’ one.
'Prossy, was that you my ARVs
Disease Control Culture in I am and smart. I loved it
when he gave me
I became a
in Straight Talk?
What made you
(CDC). There was a
time when I never imagined talking freely about my
Positive Karamoja smart in my money. The first flowers
disgrace among
the born again
expose yourself
like that?
HIV status. I worried about death and felt people did
not like me.
Young warrior: • girls marry on average marriage
blanket skirt
I ever received were
from Peter. He made
community and a
at 19.3 years, a year later than in laughing stock at
At first, I
found the
"Disclosure" is when you speak out something
important to someone. Proscovia disclosed through
In fact, one day in 2005, I took an overdose. I had
heard that the Anti Retro Virals are strong and
loves cows the rest of Uganda! People from all continents
come here. This means we are
me feel loved.
I am proud
Straight Talk that she had HIV. The consequences
In future when I get a wife, I will be • there is less sex before marriage: One day Peter took me
attention thought if I took many, they would kill me faster special people. I loved school so Three months to be a winner.
too much. were good. She got new friends and more love. She than AIDS. I took 20 tablets when I was supposed
faithful to her. I fear HIV. In my culture 90% of unmarried females and 76% out. He ordered wine My dream is
much but my parents were not later I developed a
Later, I also feels relieved that she does not have to keep her to take only 3. I was surprised that I did not die. people say HIV is a curse for people who of unmarried males aged 15-24 in but I refused because I
daily sickness that confined me to the dormitory. I to be an
got HIV status a secret any more. Now that has changed. I am a different person, have sex anyhow. I left school because my Karamoja have not had sex. supportive. I resorted to brewing was born again. Then he ordered a Coke. It was accountant or
was confirmed pregnant and dismissed from
courage with hope for the future. friends were out of school. I wanted to be alcohol. Brewing is where I get money already opened when it came. I sensed something agriculturalist.
school. I missed my S3 third term examination. I
part of them. I regret leaving school. I for survival. If I get an opportunity to was terribly wrong. I knew in my heart that alcohol
Culture in was deep in the village, far off in the rural area in
go back to school, why not? I admire or sedatives had been added to it. But I did not
raid animals, and I am proud of having Negative Karamoja want to offend Peter. So I neglected my conscience
Dokolo. A year has gone by and I now have a I am a Straight Talk chairperson in
Having HIV does not mean that you are immoral many cows, but I fear being killed.
Lomurai, 18, Naduket, • distrust of education • rape of brides
educated people. They look nice.
Nakiru Tereza, Moroto and accepted the soda.
healthy baby boy. But I do not know who his father
is since many boys lay with me that night. I also
my school. There are so many
benefits like educative messages. I
Dr Stephen Watiti of Mildmay Having HIV does not mean you There are many children with • cattle raiding. worry about HIV. I pray for strength to test. am very concerned about the plight
Centre is a prominent doctor are immoral. Many children HIV who have grown into Moroto It was not long before I became oblivious of what of girls who get unwanted
working in HIV. He is also living are born with it. Knowing adults. Some have was happening to me. I awoke in the morning to pregnancies and drop out of
with HIV himself. Here are his wise your status helps you to realised their dreams! Dictio- nary: Can you see what is good in the Karimojong find myself lying in a derelict room. My petticoat was
teens school. A Namagembe
words. look after yourself well. You
need counseling if you have There are about
The growing rate
Cherish- To love and
want to
culture that reduces the chance of HIV? Discuss
hanging on a nail on the wall. Beneath my skirt, I felt
my knickers was missing. Then I saw it strewn on the News for HIV+ at 32 new sites. The number of young
" urge Straight Talkers, who have lost HIV. Learn how to live with it 100,000 young people protect something floor. Three used condoms also lay there. Currently, Uganda has about 140,000 people on ARVs will double over the
Chores- The daily work in your Straight Talk Club.
I their parents or just their mothers
to test for HIV. Every person above
15 can test for HIV without the consent
Many people have dangerous
diseases like diabetes. They
living with HIV in Uganda.
But only about 10% or
10,000 of them are
especially at home
I felt so dirty. Suddenly I felt a searing pain across my
heart. From behind the door, I heard male voices
children Living with HIV, and each year
another 20,000 are born with the virus. Of
the 50,000 children and adolescents who
next few years. If you think you need
ARVs, please visit a health centre.

Straight Talk works with the Paediatric

of their parents or guardians. have accepted them and receiving treatment currently need ARVs, only 8000 are receiving
thanking Peter for letting them sleep with me. I was Infectious Diseases Clinic and Mildmay
If you are below 15, you can go to test learnt to live with them. with ARVs. them. to support HIV+ teens. Positive teens,
at Naguru Teenage Centre in Kampala, Having HIV is like having They all need love dumfounded. Peter entered the room. But all this is set to change. Next month send your stories to PO Box 22366, K'la.
Gulu or Kitgum Youth Centres or any diabetes, except that you and care and not Baylor University, working with local
“Get up and we go,” he said. “What have you done government, AIC and other partners, will
other place. can transmit it to others. stigma." to me?” start offering ARVs to children and teens BEST LETTERS WIN PRIZES

Words of wisdom
Every time we liberate a woman,
we liberate a man. ~Margaret Mead
This picture
was taken in
Bwindi: Straight Talk started in October 1993; for
adolescents aged 15-19 in secondary school.
You can get
Whether women are better than men a copy of
I cannot say - but I can say they are Straight Talk
in your
certainly no worse. ~Golda Meir community

Funded by Dfid, Irish Aid and Danida via the

where you
Boys and girls, be committed to respecting each
other. You have a right and responsibility to make see this
safe choices for now and the future. signpost.
August 200
Vol. 14 No.7

Unlimited by gender Civil Society Fund in 2008.

hat would you think if you saw a
W male nurse or a male secretary?
Or women playing "mweso" while their
husbands fetch water and carry babies?

Seems strange to you? You may have

some gender bias.

What comes to your mind when you see

the word gender? You may say gender is
ideas and expectations people have about
being a male or female. These expectations

Who do you admire? Rape and PEP

could be in terms of roles, behaviour,
characteristics, values or abilities associated
with being male or female.

Domestic duties such as fetching water and

taking care of children are traditionally

March: August:
considered women's work. But males too
can do these duties. There is no such thing as a man's or a woman's job.
Men and women can share work equally for a better life and development.
Apart from giving birth, which is dictated by
biology, men can do everything that women
can do and females can do everything that Girl mechanics at work

Disclosure sets you free

men can do. Gender also refers to opportu-

Unlimited by gender
nities associated with being male and female Helen and Olivia fix cars. To them it is natural to
and the relationships between women and change oil and look under the bonnets at
men and girls and boys. Zezziwe Automobile Vocational Training Insti-
Gender expectations are socially con- tute in Kalerwe, Kampala.
structed and learned as you grow and

interact with other people. They vary from "I have loved mechanics since childhood, so I

society to society and can change. joined this institute after S6. "Says Helen 23, "My
friends thought this was a man's career and that
Drop your gender bias. Support equal male mechanics would harass me. But that
choices and opportunities for all. didn't stop me."

Be assertive Teens with Disability have rights

You simply need to be the best that you can be at
whatever you do. Anyone can do anything. Helen Bakanansa and Olivia Mukota check under the car bonnet

Gender and HIV

Girls, you can do technical education or
sciences. They are for both boys and girls.

In most societies there are differences and inequalities

between females and males in responsibilities given,
activities done, access to and control over resources, plus
Cooking makes me happy
Kaddu Mukasa Kironde
II (KK) has been cooking May: October: Safe transition
Beautiful Karamoja
decision-making opportunities. Because of these for at least the past 40
differences and inequalities women and girls have fewer years. He realised that

Nov/Dec: Relationships
rights, lower education and health status. They also have cooking is not just for
less access to resources and decision making than men. girls, a long time ago.
This makes girls and women powerless and vulnerable to
HIV. Promote gender equality in your home and school. “The cooking industry is

Start by thinking about your views towards the girls and one of the most active in
boys you interact with. Positive gender attitudes contribute Uganda. It sustains a lot
to the reduction in the spread of HIV. of people. You can make
money from food.”
Do not let gender attitudes influence your choices about relationships, sex and your
future.Whether you are a girl or boy, you have a right to make safe choices. Choose to delay KK learnt to cook from

Telling your life as a novel

KK buying tomatoes his grandfather.
sex. It is healthy and safe. If you are sexually active, use condoms. and onions

Remember the HIV basics Remember the HIV basics

•HIV is a virus. A person with
HIV has the virus in all their
Straight Talkers,
do you want a job? • You can look
Sexual harrassment
body fluids but most If you are aged 18-21 and feel fine for If someone will not take your
concentrated in their blood, and speak and write years with HIV in "No" for an answer, do not
semen and/or vaginal fluids. Lukonzo, Ateso, your body. Only
an HIV test will
bother to argue. Just turn and
•HIV infection leads to AIDS.
Kupsabiny, Lugbara, show if you have walk away.
HIV cannot be removed from Madi or Luo, send the virus.
the body. Its multiplication
can only be controlled by
your CV to PO • After 5 to 8
ARVs. Box 22366 years, your body

•To prevent HIV, we need to

Kampala. loses its ability
to fight sickness.
change how we think about The virus has
sex. For example, boys do destroyed too
many CD4 cells. Yes, HIV can be
not need sex, and if they
start having sex, they do not er 2008 2008
need more than one sexual 9. Septemb • Young people 10 October
Vol. 14 No. who got HIV at Vol. 15 No.

Safe transition
birth are now
Read more basics next month!

Teens with
teenagers with
normal sexual
feelings. So sex
with a "virgin"
will not protect
you from HIV.

disability A
s soon as I joined
S1, I started
‘conning’ girls by for every teen to A-level; S6

have rights
writing them letters.
I never missed any dance From... P7 to S1; O-level to new
organized at school. I did all to Campus; Old schoolcamp to
this because I quickly gained school; From IDP ied to
the favour of students with
home; From unmarr
married; Or any other
whom we shared interests.
Peer pressure was too
much on me. directio n...
But I realized I was losing
“People ignore me even when it is an If so, remember those feelings before you laugh, tease
or mistreat someone who is living with a disability. out. I got saved. My spirit Ojakol Simon Peter
important issue to the whole community.
Nobody asks for my opinion. They think I do grew stronger. I stopped and his girlfriend are saved.
not reason because I move in a wheelchair.” Empathise messing up. I want to do You ask him why he has a
Faridah Nandawula 19, S5, Masaka People with disabilities have rights to be something vocational like girlfriend yet he is saved, he
SS respected just like you do. Take action and brickmaking as well as quickly answers: “When you
support them. Make a difference in their lives. preaching in my S4 vacation. are saved, the hormones are
Like Faridah, many young people are Go out of your way to support them. They My goal is to be a preacher not saved”. Get his full transition
living with disabilities. They are often need empathy and not sympathy.
or pharmacist. I need to inspire story on page two.
mistreated and denied what a child
without a disability may get. Sympathy is a kind of useless pity. In contrast, young people to change their lives

Like any other child, a teenager with

empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of
others and trying to truly understand how they
with the Word of God”. So, you might ask...
disabilities has a right to education, feel. Tendo Sidney, 16, in S4 at Ojakol Simon what is transition?
health, food, clean environment, to Genesis SS, Luwero concludes his Peter A transition is the process or period of
socialize and be listened to Choose not to
• tell jokes about them story with a bubbly smiling face. He is not changing from one condition or environment
People with disabilities (PWDs) are • stare at them shy to share his challenge as he went through to another. It may be from one school to
human like you • exploit them sexually. transition from primary to secondary. Yes, he another or one level of education to another. As
They love and want to be loved. It is was growing up, changing school environment, we go through life we make many transitions.
important to treat them the way you If you are disabled, you have a right to meeting new friends, and probably
would love to be treated. Make friends respect. Do not have self-pity. Be determined gaining a lot of freedom. Transitions are risky times for HIV. The environment
with them. and study hard. Many disabled people is new. You are off balance, not on familiar territory.
Aidat Nabukalu is deaf have
ve made it in life.
Alice Nabbosa had
We are all different in some way.
We -- she cannot hear at all --
It could be because of tribe, class
yet she was the first runner up For more on disability, contact:
many fears and expectations
as she waited to join S1
Be extra vigilant!
She •NUDIPU, PO Box 8567, Plot
or economic income. Now think
about a time when you were for Miss Uganda in 2004-5. at Mulusa Academy. "I • Girls, watch out for big boys wanting to use you.
treated badly because you are says she has an inner inspiration to 530, Kisaasi Rd, Kampala. expected to find new It happens.
attempt all those things that people •Uganda Society for Disabled
different. How did it feel? Did it Children, PO Box 16346, Plot teachers, new students and • Girls and boys, watch out for your own sexual
leave you with bad memories, without disabilities try to do. feelings. A new environment can be intoxicating!
anger or sadness? 1 Kamjokya St, Kampala. new dressing styles. But I
feared getting a boyfriend. • Take your time in deciding what groups you
want to join.Wait, watch, assess the situation, do

Last chance to WIN OBAMA BOOK

BOOK: write now!
I never wanted to get
pregnant. I have held onto my not rush in to anything.
values. I avoid boys and prefer • Do not try to be impressive. Take it easy and be
Alice to abstain from sex." the winner in the end.
Nabbosa So far her transition has been safe!
Barack Obama is running for In the village, women who speak
out are often said to be rumour
“People call me ‘Koloba’ and ‘Butcherman’
because I have a problem with my leg
president of the United States. mongerers or behaving like from polio. But I get love at home and my
The elections are on
November 6. All the world
"men". How can a woman make
suggestions without being seen as
friends treat me well. I want to be a lawyer 15 years of Straight Talk!
is watching. Obama, 46, or teacher.
too assertive and not womanly? I have sexual feelings like any other
is a brilliant lawyer. His he first Straight Talk came out on 19 October 1993, exactly 15 years ago
Does your mother openly offer adolescent. I manage them by avoiding
father was Kenyan and ideas? What happens? Tell us the this month! That old newspaper might look funny to you but we were proud
his grandmother lives just the person I have feelings for.” Nabwami of it! Those were the days before internet and mobile phones. It was even a big
nearby in Kisumu! What about your Dad? Is he a ruler Rosette, 16, S2, Misanvu SSS, Masaka Luweero man, Tendo Sidney. deal to write about sex! In 1993, 33% girls aged 15-19 were tesing positive for
or leader for you? His transition from P7 to HIV at AIDS Information Centre. Now the figure is 1.8% for girls aged 13-17 and
Straight Talk will give
Send letters to
Obama's book to 20 secondary landed him in 6.1% for girls aged -- still too high but much better. It has been a priviledge to
readers who send in problems. Be careful when work with you, young people. Most of you are postponing sex until you are older.
honest and insightful
letters about the
PO Box 22366, you go to a new school. It is
a time of exploration when
You understand your body changes and sexual feelings. You are smart about
condoms. Keep it up! Straight Talk is with you and on your bumper at all times.
following: Kampala. you can easily get confused. With love from all of us, the ST team.


Young Talk at a glance in 2008
Not for SALE: Vol. 11 No.2 Not for SALE: No. 3 Vol. 11
March 2008
Not for SALE: Vol. 11 No.3
Young Talk
Feb 2008 April 2008
Young Talk
•Know your rights is FREE
•Know your rights Young Talk
•Know your rights
•Stay in school
•Stay in school Sex education for •Stay in school
•Wait to have sex
Sex education for Sex education for
primary schools primary schools primary schools
•Delay sex •Delay sex
Many young people are living with HIV/AIDS but they are healthy and have big dreams.
What manners Caring for a
do you have? Positive Living person with AIDS
and Loving
Welcome back from the long holidays. Helping others
We hope you enjoy 2008. But for you One day my mother sent me to the market. On You cannot get HIV through
to enjoy, you need to have good my way, I met a very old woman carrying heavy
luggage. She looked tired. I helped her with the

hugging shaking hands

touching an infected person

I cared for my father
manners. luggage. Qsharing plates and clothes with an My father became ill in could not perform well in
infected person 2004 when I was 12. I was in class. The good thing, I did
Manners are ways in which you behave. When I got home, my mother beat me for taking P5 at Zion PS in Entebbe. not have to look for school
Manner can be good or bad. Good manners
Young Talk met this free and brave
long. I later told her why I delayed. Although My brothers and sisters fees. The school paid for me
(values) can help you succeed in what
James who shared his story.
she had beaten me, I felt good because I had were in boarding school. because I was a good
you do at home, school or in your helped the old woman. They had a sponsor who was goalkeeper.
I want to become
community. In this Young Talk, paying for them. We lived
read about what Young Talkers with my brother who had I missed my PLE since I did
president of Uganda
I learnt to be kind from my father. He used to
in Yumbe district have done help people in need. Zubeda Yassin, Acholi just completed S6. not have money for
and feel proud about. Do you
"I came to know that I was HIV
PS I cooked and washed for my sick registration. I sat home for a
think they have good
positive when I was 11. I was in P4. father. He had saved money which year but now I am in P7 at
I had lost my parents and I was falling sick all the we used to buy food. When It got Maganjo SDA PS.
time. My brother took me for a test. At first I
Zubeda Protecting animals did not believe my results. I have never had sex.
But after being counseled, I accepted I had HIV
finished, I worked as a porter at a
bricklaying site to earn money for
I told the headmistress that I
was a good footballer. She
and needed treatment. I was tired of falling sick.
y father had many allowed me to study for
ARVs have made me feel better. I hope one day I
animals. We would Dad became very ill and was free.I hope to become a
for an old
M graze them together. At first
I hated it, but after sometime,
will get well. It is not easy taking drugs everyday,
it irritates. At times I feel like vomiting. But I still
want to live and become an important person in
admitted in Entebbe Hospital. We
needed more money. My brother left
for Kampala to look for a job. I
professional footballer.
Kabuye Charles, 15,
P7, Maganjo SDA
I started enjoying looking after PS, Wakiso
woman animals. I feel bad when they fall sick. future. I thank God that people treat me well. would go to work everyday before
My father taught me to handle When I was in school, my friends used to treat and after school. Late in the evening,
animals well. They also have a right me well. But now I am out of school. I lack I would prepare food and take it to
school fees. hospital. The food would last for Like Charles, there
to live. two days. I would feed dad and help are many young
One day I found people stoning our My advice to Young Talkers is to him change clothes.
people taking care of
neighbour's goat. It had eaten their abstain from sex. They should also
test to know their HIV status. You may Sometimes I would sit and listen to people with AIDS. It is
cassava. I stopped them and took the
Good goat to our neighbour. He was so have got HIV from your parents just my father. He needed someone to not easy. Read more
like me." Ewelu James of Mbuya talk to since he was always alone "I could
can thankful. When I was sent away for about how to look feed my dad
manners school fees, he gave me the money I believe the
during the day. He encouraged me
to continue with my studies. He said after a person with and help him
help you me
and I went back to school. I believe I will beco da AIDS and still go to
t of Ugan
when he dies, I should stay with my change clothes,
succeed he helped me because I saved his Presiden I live uncle. As he talked, I cried. After a then find time to
goat. Ismail Zalika, Agongo PS one day. take my school. Also find out
y. I month, my brother returned without work before and
positivel on time.
a job. Then dad died. how you can avoid after school.
Just like Zalika, good manners can bring Looking after my dad was tiring. I HIV on Page 2
about good results. Bad manners can lead
• Would you tell
you into danger. Read more about how to • Sleeping under a treated others if you You can support relatives with AIDS in the following ways:
behave on page 2. mosquito net to avoid malaria were HIV
What Positive • Taking septrin everyday. Septrin positive?
• Would you love
• What do you think about Zubeda Living means drug helps the body to fight
diseases that easily attack yourself the way
• Support and care for your
if • Visiting a health centre people with HIV, like; cough, James does?
• You will be respected rs and Yassin's stories?
whenever you are sick pneumonia, and diarrhoea • Do you think it
friends who have HIV
• Having HIV is not the end of
you have good manne • Would you have done the same ? • Avoiding sex; To avoid • Drinking a lot of safe water is a good thing
life. You can still do great

• Avoid bad groups; they

can teach you bad
• Stand for your values
• Have you ever done something you are
proud of? Share your stories with your friends.
• What manners do you think can make
you and your parents proud? ?
infecting others and getting
even more HIV
• Disclosing your HIV status.
Telling other people that you
are HIV positive helps you live
freely and get their support
• Looking after your body by
taking personal hygiene
• Eating nutritious food. Have a
balanced diet each meal
• Doing light exercises to keep
to support
children with
Share your
experience and
your views with
your friends.
•Knowing your HIV status helps
you look after yourself well
and live long
• Sharing your HIV status can
helps you live feerly
Cook food that has vitamins
and protein like green
vegetables and beans. Always
give your patient clean water
Wash clothes and maintain
hygiene to protect your
patient from diarrhoea
Support the
patient to the
Make sure your patient takes
medicine correctly everyday,
including daily septrin.

Young Talk started in February 1998; for Not for SALE:

Young Talk
Vol. 11 No.6
June 2008

•Know your rights

adolescents in primary school in classes P4- Sex education for

primary schools
•Stay in school
•Delay sex
7 (age 10-14). Funded by Dfid, Irish Aid and
Girls and boys can
Danida via the CSF in 2008. do the same work
Have you ever stopped to think about
the work boys and girls do in your

February: July: Defilement

home or village?

What manners
Young Talk travelled to Mpigi district
in central Uganda and talked to
pupils of St. John Bosco Katende
PS about work for boys and girls.

do you have?
Nakato Martha says:

August: Living with

"I am given a lot of work. Wasswa does
little work. My father says boys do not do
housework. He says boys do not enter the

Joshua Wasswa says:

Positive living and disabilities "I do not know why Nakato is given more work.
When I go to play, my father tells her to remain
home and wash plates. He told me boys are not
supposed to do work meant for girls. I can only help

my sister to fetch water but cannot cook. I am told

men are not supposed to be in the kitchen".

These stories show that there is more work for
Nakato and less for Wasswa. It is common for girls
to have more work than boys in many families.
Henry Manyire, who teaches at Makerere

April: Caring for a person painful periods

University says; "this affects and reduces
the time girls have to be children. They
play less and may not go to school while
boys have more time to be children".

asswa P7,
This is not good for girls.

shua W
with AIDS
TWINS: Jo a Nakato, 13 igi

Boys! Help girls with housework.
th Mp
and Mar sco Katende PS
There is no work that was

made only for girls or just for

St John Bo
boys. Both can share out

the same work equally.

Win a pr
May: Karamoja change safely
Good things about sharing work • Nobody is overworked.
•Discuss and write
that girls do at
down the work
•Who works longer
down the work
home. Now write
that boys do.
hours? Boys

• Work becomes easy or girls? , Kampala,
Send to Box 22366 you are going

June: Girls and boys can do Friendship

• Saves time
• You all have enough time to read and play. stories about what to make sure
to do in your home
equally between
• You learn to do different types of work like
cooking, washing, looking after younger ones, work is shared
Tell us how this
digging and slashing. boys and girls. .
• You learn to work together as a team. This makes will help your family

the same work

sisters and brothers good friends THE BEST ANSW TS.
• You all feel loved Young Talk T-SHIR
• You will have respect for each other

Vol. 10 No.10
Young Talk, Nov/Dec 2008 

Not for SALE:

Not for SALE: Vol. 11 No.7 Not for SALE: Vol. 10 No.8
July 2008 August 2008 Young Talk is FREE
Young Talk Young Talk
is FREE •Know your rights is FREE •Know your rights Sex Education for primary schools

• Know your rights

Key Messages
l Friendship between boys and
•Stay in school
• Stay in school
Sex education for Sex education for •Stay in school • Say a BIG NO to sex girls does not mean sex
primary schools primary schools l Boys and girls can be friends
•Delay sex •Delay sex l Treat your friends as you would
want to be treated

l Friends share
I love my body
Living with s:
Good friend

I was a lone at home. That day i had lunch outside the house.
after lunch i took the plates back inside the house. suddenly
the son of our landlord followed me inside. he held me,
pushed me down and defiled me. i was so scared i could not
scream. i felt a lot of pain. i felt so bad. now i am seven
months pregnant.
Do you live with any kind of
disabilities But he says.....
Najjuuko Brenda, Nakalembe Fiona
l Respect each other
l Do not annoy each other.
l Forgive each other
l Give good advice
l Respect each other’s bodies.

When my parents came back, i told them what happened Kamungi Diana, and Natukunda l You should avoid bad touches
disability? How do you feel
to me. They went to the police and the boy was arrested. My and how do other children I know how HIV spreads all of KCC PS, Kampala. l Introduce their friends to their
mother was annoyed with me. she said i should go and SCHOOL: Walk in groups or
with friends
treat you?Do not feel bad I do not share sharp objects with I am careful with my body. I love it parents
stay with the man who made me about yourself. You are normal anyone. My father told me to avoid girls so much. I cannot allow anyone
l Help each other with classwork
pregnant. a friend advised if I am to avoid getting HIV. to abuse it. I do not accept gifts
her to bring me to Mirembe
and have a right to be
from men. Yo-acel Monica, l Talk about how to avoid
protected from abuse.If you HIV/STDs
house where i am staying live or study with children I do not like nicknames 14, P7, Masaka School of
as i wait to give birth. Some children used to call me children with special l Pray together
The man who defiled me
with disabilities, know that 'Butcherman.' I was not happy, I needs. l Help you to get to what you
was released. i wonder they have feelings. Respect reported them to the teachers. want in life
whether i will ever go them and protect them
l Do not demand for sex when
back to school,” Girl I miss football
13 years.
from sexual abuse.
Football is my best game. I they give you gifts.

THERE is a friend who tells me that he

cannot play it, I just watch
have sex. But we are now just friends. We help each
What happe- others play. Pupils call me
ned to this Do not allow to be the coach. I laugh at those loves me. He keeps touching me on other with classwork. He gives me good
girl is called abused. Say NO to who have two legs and my way home. I do not like what he is advice like he advised me to stop stealing.
defilement. sex. Protect can’t even kick a ball. doing. What can I do? Wenene Caro- Kwagala Joan, Green view PS, Kaliro
It is a sad line, P7, Elgon PS, Mbale
story. yourself from HIV. I want to become Are you a girl? Do you have a boy who is your
a judge Young Talkers, what do you think of Caroline’s story? friend? Are you a boy and have a girl as a friend?
 defile- SAFETY AT SCHOOL: If a teacher I want to study hard and
ment is asks you to take books to his Young Talk visited children
become a judge of the We think that boys and girls can be friends without How do you behave to each other?
when a man house, go with a friend with disabilities in Masaka.
International Criminal Court There is a woman who wanted to asking for sex. In October Young Talk editors visited
or boy has They talked about their life,
in The Hague. Amos buy me sweets. I feared that she Kaliro district and met bright pupils. Read on and see Share knowledge
sex with a girl dreams and how they
what they said about friendship between boys and I have a girlfriend who is very beautiful. But I take her
Scream Mwesezi, 12, P6, Nabinene could force me into sex and give
below 18 years. avoid HIV. me AIDS. Derrick Musoke,
girls. as my sister. We help each other with studies and
loudly for
Adventist PS, Masaka.
it does not matter 14, P7, Masaka School of

We need friends for:

share knowledge. So friendship does not mean sex.
whether it is forced all to hear Amos Mwesezi children with special needs
or not. Help each other Let’s take girls as our own sisters, and say no to sex.
got a wound on
 Be careful, anyone his left leg when Monica and Derrick use Sign Language to I had a boy friend when I was in P4. We did not Gumpi Cohen, Green View PS, Kaliro l Playing and fun
can defile you. it can he was a baby. learn. They can't hear or talk. But they are very l Protection (It is hard for someone to harm you
even be someone
you know and
It could not heal
active at school. Monica is also the headgirl. Boys and girls, treat when you are with friends)
Have you ever your friends just as you

It is ten years
trust like your
and he got a disability.
would treat your brother l Help when in need l Good advice
compared yourself
doctor, teacher, babysitter or It is ten years or sister l Knowledge sharing l Sharing

It is ten years

with a friend?
even your parent!
 Boys, defilement is a
ofWeYoung Talk Disability is not inability Did you think you were of Young Talk
of Young Talk
serious crime. You can go to better or worse than the
are changing your
Many people with disabilities have made it In your club, talk about
prison for it. SAFETY AT HOME: Ask your in life. Some are MPs, teachers, doctors and other person?

what you would like to
newspaper to make it more parents to invite someone you lawyers. Abdul Busulwa, who is visually Accept that God created change or add in Young

fun. in your club, discuss what trust to stay with you while they
Just like this story We are changing impaired (blind) is soon going to America to you differently. Compar- Talk to make it more fun.

teaches us, defile-

ment can lead to:
you would like to change in
Young Talk.
Stay safe are away newspaper to make it more fun.
In your club, discuss what you
do his third degree. He works with National
Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda
ing can make you or your
friends sad.
Write and tell us what
•early pregnancy •Ask grown ups not would like to change or add in
Write and tell us what
•dropping out of school to send you at night. you want to change
HIV positive
•hiV/sTd infection would you want to Young Talk. He says;"You need courage and
change. •Learn to sense Write and tell us on determination to succeed. Many times I children need
danger. P.O.Box 22366 Kampala. love and care
Mirembe house is a wanted to leave school but I told myself,

best letters
home where children •Adults mean well why leave now when I have come this far? just like you.
who get pregnant are but some including I grew up in a poor family but we shared
Look at your friends. Play with them.
kept. It is located in Old relatives may defile
best letters the little we had equally. Before I joined
Makerere University, I was the best at S4 in How are they useful to you? If your friend Help them to

win prizes!
Kampala. If you need Iganga district and 2nd best in S6. Believe in wants you to do things that can put you take their medi-
their help, call Vivian •Avoid visiting boys SAFETY ON YOUR WAY FROM in danger, he or she is a bad friend.
cine daily.
0755064580 when you are alone SCHOOL: Avoid free lifts WIN prizes! yourself, you will make

Young Talk is for Teachers and pupils in p5, p6 and p7


Distribution: “Received but copies were not enough”

istribution chief Stella Olaboro, STF Mailing List 2008
27, and assistant Justin Otim, Primary Schools 13,640
24, dispatch eight million Secondary Schools 3,201
newspapers a year to almost Straight Talk Clubs 727
25,000 addresses, supported by 25 Young Talk Clubs 122
casual labourers and 5000 rolls of Tertiary Institutions 531
sticky tape. Bundling and posting CCTs/ Teacher Colleges 578
take physical stamina. The fiddly District Education Offices 80
job of tracking addresses takes District Inspector Schools 80
perseverance. Health Centers 1729
NGOs 466
Stella’s parents -- a university CBOs 1576
lecturer and radiographer -- died of Baptist churches 74
AIDS as did three of her sisters. In Catholic churches 121
need of money, she started bundling Church of Uganda churches 831
for STF at 19. “The papers are Islamic Institutions 49
beneficial to students,” says Stella. Police 120
“Teachers put in a lot of effort to Prisons 56
come to give us their addresses.” Libraries 26
MPS 304
Distribution In 2008, Stella and Justin sought mobile numbers for International addresses 273
Manager every school. Now STF issues a text alert when parcels Libraries 27
Stella reach upcountry post offices. Teachers often text back, Farm Talk Institutions 180
Olaboro many with affection. TOTAL 23,791
says: “My
own story “Dear, thanks for the YT and answering pupils questions.
makes me care They so excited,” wrote Kibuye PS. “We receive all your
because when publications. Keep up and may God bless you,” wrote
I was growing Mothercare PS in Nutungamo.
up no one
gave me this However, many are frustrated by the small number of
information. copies and delivery delays. The system is not perfect.
And I know “Received but the copies were not enough” wrote
that there Sydney Paul Day and Boarding PS, Masaka. “Have
are so many checked in the post office three times but haven’t got
people for copies,” wrote Nyakabale PS. “Please, ST, I have checked
whom Straight in Post Office but there is nothing,” wrote Keti PS,
Talk is the only Yumbe.
they will get.” Every month STF also physically delivers papers to 250 Loaded up: STF spends two
NGOs in Kampala. In a year, for example, TASO receives days every month delivering
36,000 for its 12 upcountry branches, World Vision papers.
51,000, and Family Planning Association 57,000.

Vol. 3 No. 1, September 2008

Print partnerships in 2008
Scouts Voice journalists during a
training at Kazi scouts national
Scouts Voice, started in 2005, funded by addressed disclosure, ARVs,
Path-Kenya-USAID, for Ugandan and Kenyan safe water, condoms and
training and camping site, in
Kampala in August this year

Scouting for Solutions Not for sale


scout troops. UGANDA March: Support other positive living topics.

imagined that the things that can put you in danger
aviours, Dear scout, and non Message from
Avoid beh people scout, welcome to you do, say, places you go
to and people you relate
of getting HIV is all
around you. As you read Mr kello Richard,
places andus at risk
the last issue of
Scouts Voice this with, can expose you to this issue, find out if you the NEC, Uganda Scouts
that put shows the year. HIV? have been alert enough to Association
bstinenceive power Yes! Sometimes, even the
sense the risks around
protect s and In the last issue you people you trust so much

people with HIV. Oct: Can you sense HIV

read about Gender and
of boy HIV. In this issue, find
can put you at risk. Find out if you can avoid
girls more about what can put Sometimes our own risks, and also know what
you at the risk of getting bevahiours can put us at factors stop you from
HIV/AIDS. Have you ever risk pf getting HIV. Risks avoiding the risks

Can you sense

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

risks? KENYA: Aug: We are one. Dec: Are you Karamoja posters on
HIV risks?
Our vision as Scouts is
“Creating a better
Dangers of gifts world” and our

aware of HIV risks? Jamboree edition Uganda. education, for UNICEF, print
In 2006 there was a party in Mission is “Educating
our village. A man asked my young people to play a
friend to dance with him. constructive role in
This turned into something society”. Think
dangerous. The man later through your life as a
What is a risk? Scout, are you doing
You are said to be at risk gave her some money, then a
things that are helping
when you are exposed to phone. Later he forced her create a better world

run 2000.
something which can harm or into sex and she got pregnant. today? Are you playing
hurt you. Think of the things But she said she learnt a a constructive role at
you do, the places you visit, lesson and promised never to home, school, among
and people you relate with. If do that again. She went back your peers or in the
to school with a dream of community where you
any of them can hurt you,
becoming a lawyer, Bwire stay?
then you can call it risk. Sometimes young
What are your plans to stay Sharon, 14, Dabani girls
people involve

Everyday Health Matters, launched 2006,

safe? themselves in activities
Sharon’s story is one example
that have less value
In July, a group of scouts of situations that can put and put one at risk.
trained in Kazi as SV someone at the risk of early
jourlaists interviewed some pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. Know what kind of
SV readers in the nearby While Sharon’s friend was environment you live
schools about their able to go back to school, in because most risks

for adults, funded by AFFORD/USAID and HIPS/USAID, rebranded and

experiences which could put remember that for many girls, we face come from our
getting pregnant marks the environment. Not all
them at risk of getting HIV. SHARING INFORMATION WITH HELPFUL FRIENDS CAN risks are the results of
The journalists also told their end of education.
MAKE YOU AVOID RISKS. Children of Busabala PS our own behaviors.
own stories of HIV risks . read Scouts Voice (SV). Reading scouts voice But we can control all
Read to find more about risks is one way of gaining information which can risks.
and how you can avoid them help you avoid risks Always remember that
your behaviour can

developed with Ministry of Health and other reprinted Everyday Health

put you at risk. Your
When you are at risk
friends’ behaviours
can also put you at risk
. Avoid the places if the risk and behaiours of other
people around you can
coming from an also put your life at
environment risk.
. Avoid the friends if it is

partners. In Feb 2008 STF produced an Matters, leaflets, flipcharts,

Fellow scouts , value
friends putting you at risk your lives, avoid all
. Stop, think and change your things that can put
behaviour if it is your own you at risk. As in our
promise lets’ help
action putting you at risk other people but
. Report to responsible never forget our duty
authority if the risk is to self that demands

EHM on “staying strong with HIV”, which peer education manuals.

coming from someone you that we all stay a live.
cannot stop yourself


Forester Joseph Otim
holds a young Afezelia
africana, one of the
8000 seedlings of this
indigenous species that
he has raised.

Joseph’s parents were

killed by LRA rebels but
he managed to complete
his A levels. STF’s
sister NGO Mvule Trust
sponsored him to study
at Uganda’s National
Forestry College.

He leads Tree Talk’s

programme in Kitgum.

tree &
farm talk
These are sound goals. Most schools
have land, often as much as 20 acres
in the central north and northeast.
And schools need fuelwood if their
teachers and learners are to eat. Less
than 20% of schools provide midday
meals: those that do either buy wood
(spending up to $100 a term on
firewood, a cost they can ill afford) or
make learners carry a stick to school
everyday. These can be seen stacked
with poignant neatness against
classroom walls.

Tree Talk is Uganda’s only

Trees for environmental newspaper. With about
schools: half of all schools raising seedlings
Pupils in a
from Tree Talk seed, it caused an
primary school
estimated 8000 nurseries to be
in Yumbe

ree Talk and Farm Talk were set up. But this sounds better than it is. Not all
place newly
launched in 2002. The idea was seed germinates, and a good proportion of those
to create newspapers to “do” seedlings seedlings that do grow perish in the nursery or later
for the environment and agriculture under a in the ground. Many obstacles get in the way, from
what Straight Talk and Young Talk were tree prior to lack of water to raise seedlings to seedlings dying
doing for ASRH: create buzz, new planting. for lack of care in the holidays to livestock trampling
ideas, action, new analysis. or eating saplings in woodlots.

With the second or third highest population growth In 2006 STF acquired funding from World Food
in the world, Uganda’s environment is in free fall. In Programme, which was then feeding over two
much of the country, women now walk three times million people in the North and Karamoja, to
further for firewood than they did 15 years ago. produce not only Tree Talk but to run an on-the-
Floods, windstorms which remove school roofs, and ground woodlot programme. Able to hire young
erosion are side effects of the 92,000 ha of forest foresters who rode from school to school on
lost yearly. Agricultural production per capita is motorbikes and set up central nurseries, in 2006
also declining as the soil is mined for crops and not STF planted over 244,400 trees in 227 schools in
replenished. Over 53% of Ugandan children under these distressed regions. About 60% survived to one
the age of five are stunted -- short for age -- year. In 2007, STF planted a further 229,000.
because of chronic undernourishment. (DHS, 2006)
Today Tree Talk woodlots can be seen along the
Tree Talk Gulu and Kitgum road. The fast-growing trees
Tree Talk is a four page newspaper that is sent -- Senna, Eucalyptus and Neem -- are now many
once or twice a year to every school in Uganda. metres high and have begun to be harvested, often
Each school receives a sachet of tree seed with its as poles for teachers’ houses. The indigenous trees
bundle. The aim is that the school will germinate -- particularly the hardwood Mvule -- are fewer but
the seed and grow a woodlot as well as indigenous also visible.
trees for shade, beauty, wind control and wildlife. The cost
Care for your
climate! With
this Tree Talk,

per tree
18,000 schools
countrywide are
receiving tree seed.
Start your nursery

and woodlot
British High Commission now.Right: Brenda
This special Tree Talk on climate
change was produced with the Uganda of the Twogere Kaati
Carbon Bureau. It is sponsored by the il 2008
British High Commission in Kampala. No.1 Apr Radio Program with

is a
The British Government is committed Vol. 6
to a low carbon global economy. her mvule seedlings

The climate is changing!
But we can fight climate change with trees

Trees naturally trap also has one of the it releases the areas, accounts for
carbon dioxide, best climates in the carbon dioxide that 20% of man-made

Left: Tree
which they use world for growing was stored. This greenhouse gas
during photo-
synthesis. At the
trees. But more and
more trees are being
contributes to global
warming. Cutting
emissions each
year. You can fight Save ts
same time they emit
oxygen, which we
cut down for
charcoal, firewood
down forests also
means that there
this by protecting
the forests that are fores
Talk nursery
need to breathe. and timber and to are fewer trees to left and by growing w
Uganda is lucky, it clear land for produce oxygen. more new trees. Gro s
still has some agriculture. When Deforestation,
natural forests. It the wood is burned, especially in tropical

in Adjumani: What are greenhouse gases, global warming?

Visible are
seedlings of Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide. They naturally
encircle the earth. But too many greenhouse gases

cause the earth to heat up. This is global warming.

Is the weather in your The atmosphere (the air

area changing? Is there we breathe) is naturally
dry land where it was made up of different There are
once wet, or floods where gases, including carbon now more

it was once dry? dioxide. Some of these floods and
gases are called
"greenhouse gases". droughts in
Does your favourite Uganda due
wetland for swimming Why do they have this
name? to global
now have little water?

Senna and
Is the temperature
They are called
hotter than before? "greenhouse gases" Greenhouse gases carbon dioxide to be greenhouse gases come
because they trap the sun's naturally act like a blanket released. from the destruction of
All over the world, the heat like the plastic and keep the Earth warm. Cars, planes and factories forests.
weather is changing: sheeting that is used to This is good: without burn fuel, releasing carbon

this is called climate make greenhouses. them, the Earth would be dioxide into the To reduce the carbon
change. Climate change Have you seen such very cold! atmosphere. When forests dioxide in the atmosphere
is dangerous because it greenhouses near Entebbe are burnt, they also release and thereby fight climate
disturbs our crops, water that are used for growing Unfortunately humans carbon dioxide. change, we can grow trees
and health. flowers and vegetables? have caused too much Today 20% of all man-made and protect forests.


In 2008 Tree Talk received funding from several
sources: Kumi
•The British High Commission gave UGX 18 million woodlot: A
via the Uganda Carbon Bureau for an issue on pupil tends
global warming. This went to all schools in the a Senna
country with Mvule or Senna seed, depending tree. Kumi is
upon the ecological zone. Uganda’s most
• National Forestry Authority gave almost UGX 13 deforested
million for trees for 45 schools around Mt Kei, an district. Below:
area of high biodiversity on the Sudan border in a heap of
Yumbe district. firewood to
• Philanthropists Madeleine and Timothy Plaut cook the mid-
donated $15,000 for tree-growing in 15 schools day meal in a
in Kumi. primary school
in Karamoja.
• FAO gave UGX 50 million for school woodlots in
Gulu and Kaberamaido.
• USAID’s WILD project
provided UGX 299 million for
Tree Talk in Lwo, radio work
in Lwo and Madi, and tree
growing in Amuru, Kitgum,
Moyo and Adjumani.

With funding amounting

to $276,000, these efforts
resulted in the planting of
494,000 trees at a cost of
$0.56 a tree in 2008. They
also allowed the priming of
central and community nurseries, which will lead to Agriculture provides the livelihood of 80% of
the planting of 700,000 trees in 2009. With funds Ugandans but to be a peasant farmer is perceived
of $681,203 over three years, STF’s work for WILD to have failed. Farm Talk tries to show pupils that
will take pressure off biomass in Murchison Falls farming is integral to a prosperous future.
National Park and Mt Otzi, Zoka and Agoro Agu
Central Forest Reserves. Three years is the least a In 2008, with UGX 100 million from Danida’s
tree project should last. Agricultural Sector Programme Support project,
STF produced three issues of Farm Talk, trained 66
Farm Talk teachers and worked in 80 schools in the north to
Farm Talk supports the teaching and learning of establish model school gardens. Kubali PS in Yumbe
agriculture in primary school and aims to contribute raised 3000 cabbages with Farm Talk seed. Wrote
to better feeding for vulnerable pupils. Every school teacher W Pithus from Nebbi. “We have received
receives a sachet of vegetable seed with its Farm Talk seeds from Farm Talk since 2006. Our school has
bundle to inspire school gardening. become a living lab.”

Making agriculture rewarding and fun f o r pupils & teachers Vol. 9 No. April 2008
Making agriculture rewarding and fun f o r pupils & teachers Vol.9 No.2 June 2008
Making agriculture rewarding and fun f o r pupils & teachers Vol.9 No.3 October 2008

Farming and HIV/AIDS

Is your soil fertile? Do you have plenty of water for your animals? Do you have trees on your
Girls/women have the same rights as boys/men over the crops they grow. farm? Or is your environment tired and over-worked? Get more information from this issue.

Girls and boys need Farm carefully to help

equal voice in farming the environment
Farming gives good food
Do you know that
farming and HIV are
related? Find out how
when there is HIV/AIDS
in your family, food
production can drop. So
you need to help your
Dear Farm Talkers, we Why both boys and farming can keep you
hope you applied onto your
Farm Talkers! Did food. Chandiru, for family to grow enough
girls need equal example, says she has safe and how it can help food."
home gardens all the
you know that
chances taught her parents not to you solve HIV related
farming knowledge you without natural cut trees. problems. Nabwire Betty a teacher
acquired last year. Feel free Equal decision and
resources like from Bukumankola PS
to write to us about your participation helps both girls water and land Keeping trees in •Farming helps you to says:
give good nutrition to
farming experiences during and boys to: life would be our gardens people with HIV/AIDS. "Someone with HIV/AIDS
the holidays. • Discover their full abilities impossible for "Our climate is hot and we
may be too weak to work.
to do things well •Good food helps them to
people? suffer a long drought. We
In this issue, find out why it • Benefit equally
have learnt to keep trees in
be healthier, live longer, This can lead to food
is important for girls and • Share work without Today there is great threat
our gardens. We do not cut
resist infections. shortage.
them. Instead we plant
boys to be given equal complaint to the environment. Due
more of them. Teacher A pupil
opportunities to take • Learn to do same things
to human activity, land is
decisions on farming. Also
becoming poorer. Grass
without gender bias When we have to cut Lutuya comes
find out what other Farm
and trees are disappearing
• Gain from work without fast, causing soil to erode.
trees, we do so selectively. from from
Talkers say about the cheating one another Water sources are drying
This means that trees with Kaliro such a
topic. Find out what good shade, leaves that CoU PS family
• Develop confidence in needs
teachers say about themselves
easily decompose
to work
Pupils of Bukumankola PS in Kaliro weed their maize in
their great school garden. Pupils, be active when your
and able to fix
decision making for boys • Learn to respect one We all have to
nitrogen are left "Pupils, harder."
and girls. another
farm for food
when clearing land teacher asks you to go to the garden. Good farming is the
gi rls
and income.
Key message for boys and
• Take on responsibilities But we need
for farming. I road to wealth in Uganda.
Strong: most without fear learnt all this in
to farm in a
• People with HIV need good f
women school. I tell my
a family member has HIV.
way that
• Harvests may go down when
Farming gives income
work hard
Do you have a
parents that we
in the family gardens so
• So, boys and girls, work hard
for their need not cut down
school garden? and dodo
families in
that the family has plenty to ea
every tree to give A maize garden at the foot of Agoro Agu
Do both boys and girls er. seed from • You get money to behaviours that can
• Learn how to be a great farm
farming. way for farm land. This
hills in Kitgum. The farmer left a big tree
participate equally in Read what Farm Talkers
made my parents maintain
in the garden to conserve the Farm Talk! meet your needs, lead you into sex.
making decisions in West Nile and Gulu are
some trees in our garden."
environment. Good farming and a good instead of depending
on someone who • Farming can earn you

Farm Talkers at Kaliro CoU PS talk

about where to doing to protect the
may infect you with
Chandiru Rauda, P7, environment go hand in hand.
Pupils of St Catherine PS in Luwero with their money so that you
plant, what to plant,
environment and grow
HIV, such as a sugar
Omba PS, Yumbe.
teacher Peter kamya Semugabi in their can help your family

about farming and HIV

harvest, sell and mummy or boy lover. members who have
school garden. Girls and boys need equal
how to use the opportunity to make decisions on farming. HIV.
money? Boys, do not assume that girls are only good • Farming can keep
for working and not thinking. Do not burn your land I grow tomatoes you busy so you do • Be careful! Do not use

Women have good ideas and energy

and sweet potatoes so not go in for drinking money from farming
I get my own money alcohol or other risky to con girls!
When you instead of relying on boys or
Do we have food? Your
• makes soil alkaline. Lots
plant crops such as
Farm Talkers, Always advise your friends

mother is the one who makes
of ash harms plants. men. I buy my own body
Women work 4 to 8 hours more
Traditionally, many to avoid setting fires. greens, okra, dodo and creams and handkerchiefs.
determines if children eat well and
for sale
sure you eat everyday. beans, the person with
than men everyday. They grow have good nutrition.
people burn bushes When a man gives you money,
HIV will eat a balanced
• reduces organic matter
most of the food that feeds the •When men control the family
to clear land to Alternatives he may ask you for sex!
diet. Shipuya
and make soil poor; soil
Kiza Lydia, 14
family. They also work hard in income, they often spend it on
farm. erosion increases • Slash and let grass root Lasmir, 13
commercial agriculture. unproductive uses such as alcohol. because there is less instead of burning
This is one reason why many Some boys simply organic matter to hold
However, men make most of the families are poor. burn them for fun. the soil together. • Avoid heaping grass Boys who
outside the garden to waste time instead
decisions about what to sell and Stop this! Bush • increases carbon dioxide prevent fires from of digging end up with
how to use the profits. This is a As a young person you can burning: in the air. A lot of this spreading bad friends. They start
serious problem. change this culture. Boys, • destroys vegetation that gas is changing the going for discos where
Why women need more voice start by helping your mother could be green manure weather all over the • Spot hoe. This means they get girls who are
•When women earn money, they and respecting views of girls world, making it drier and digging a hole only where also loitering. They end
In Uganda and most of Africa, contribute almost all of it (94%) to and women. Girls, start by • makes the soil drier shifting planting seasons you want to plant crops up having sex. These girls
women work much harder and family use. learning to make strong and yields. like bananas and could have HIV.
for longer hours in agriculture
• kills earthworms and Wandera
•It is the mother's income rather decisions. Read this Farm
other living things Emanuel,
than men.
• can spread and destroy
than father's income that
This reduces the need to
Talk to know more. necessary for healthy soil gardens. burn an entire field. 14


STF conceptual thinking
In 2007 STF expressed its model as a rainbow (see back cover). This year STF is also using the metaphor of rivers and water.
STF has three streams of communication, which create a river from which young people and adults in all life stages and states
can take what they need. After being used -- generating conversation and action -- this “water” evaporates and returns as
rain. Like the water cycle, this cycle of communication for social change constantly renews itself.



A young warrior clasps his

wind-up-solar radio, one of
over 5000 distributed by STF in

STF’s Nga’karimojong youth

show affirms Karimojong
culture, while at the same
time destigmatising education
and talking openly but
appropriately about sexuality.

In addition, the show gives

youth a chance to hear the
voices of young people from
other Karamoja sub-groups,
which may be in armed
conflict with their own.

“I have learnt about education

as the tool to success,” said
Kodath, 19 year old male from
Moroto. “So I am making sure
I do not waste time when I am
at school so that I can get to
where I want in future.”


TF began work in radio in 1999. The
aim was to use radio to reinforce the
“conversations” of Young Talk and Straight
Talk newspapers. The first Straight Talk radio
show was in English.

Once STF gained competence in radio, it

moved rapidly into broadcasting in Ugandan
languages. Lwo, the language of the north, then
in the midst of conflict, was the first.

As new languages were added year by year,

radio became far more than a reinforcement
for those already receiving STF papers. For
adolescents who do not speak English, STF
radio shows are their main and often only
source of correct knowledge on HIV, growing
Gender: STF made strenuous efforts in 2008 to
up and staying safe.
generate radio content relevant to girls. Most topics
were handled twice: once from a girl perspective
By mid 2008 STF was working in English and and once from the perspective of boy. Gender blind
13 of the largest of Uganda’s 36 indigenous content runs the risk of helping neither gender.
languages. This was one more than in 2007.
The extra language was acquired by splitting
the “4Rs” language, which is spoken in 16 “super-protectors”: parental presence and the quality of
districts in Western Uganda, into two sub- the parental relationship are critical to adolescents staying
language groups: Runyankole-Rukiga and safe. Called Parent Talk, these shows do more than just
Rutooro-Runyoro. address parenting. They also focus on the sexual and
emotional lives of parents, including adults living with HIV.
Radio is now a far larger work stream than
print at STF, though both are indispensable.
Language Launch B/casts
Excluding salaries, in 2008 STF spent about
Radio shows for adolescents/youth
$849,537 or 26% of its total budget on radio.
Of this, over 80% went on buying airtime on the English Straight Talk 1999 14
forty radio stations it needs to reach the entire Lwo: Lok atyer kamaleng 2000 5
country. All in all, in 2008, STF broadcast 4160 Runyankore/Rukiga: Tusheeshuure 2001 6
half hour radio shows for youth and parents. Ateso: Einer Eitena 2002 3
Lugbara: Eyo eceza tra ri 2003 2
Radio for youth Lusamia: Embaha Ngololofu 2003 2
Linguistically, STF covers about 85% of Lumasaba: Khukanikha Lubuula 2004 2
Uganda’s population with its youth radio shows. Luganda: Twogere Kaati 2004 5
By the end of 2008 only the smaller though still Lukonzo: Erikania Okwenene 2004 2
substantial groups such as the Madi, Alur and Lusoga: Twogere Lwattu 2005 3
Japadhola remained uncatered for. Kupsabiny: Ngalatep Maanta 2005 3
Karimojong: Erwor Ngolo Ediiriana 2006 4
In 2008 STF’s team of 14 youth journalists Lufumbira: Tuvuge Rwatu 2007 2
conceptualised, conducted field interviews Runyoro/Rutooro: Baza busimba 2008 4
and wrote the scripts for a total of 728 half Sub-total/wk 14 shows 57/wk
hour youth radio shows. Each show was then
voiced by the same journalist in STF’s studios in Radio shows for parents
4Rs: Eriaka Ryomuzaire 2005 5
Because FM stations have limited reach, each Lugbara: Nzeta Tipikaniri 2005 3
show is broadcast on several radio stations Lukonzo: Omukania owa’ babuthi 2005 2
- ranging from 14 stations for the English show Lusamia: Embaha ya bebusi 2005 2
to six for Runyankole-Rukiga to two for smaller Lumasaba: Inganikha iyi basaali 2006 2
languages such as Lusamia. Thus in 2008 STF Luganda: Eddobozi lya muzadde 2006 2
aired 57 Straight Talk shows a week for a total Lwo: Lok pa Lanyodo 2006 4
of 2964 youth shows. Ateso: Einer Aurian 2007 2
Karimojong: Erwor Angi Kaureak 2008 3
Radio for adults Sub-total/wk 9 shows 23
Since 2005 STF has produced radio shows
TOTAL 23 shows 80/wk
for adults, particularly parents. Parents are


This is vital as 75% of new HIV infections in Uganda show’s following. After a disappointing year in
are now occurring among adults aged 25 plus, the 2007, where STF received 14,000 letters down from
vast majority of whom are married or co-habiting. 24,000 in 2006 and 29,000 in 2005, STF replaced
the journalists who had produced the shows for
In 2008 STF introduced a new radio show for years. The turn around was instant. With the shows
parents in Nga’karimojong, bringing to nine the once more sounding real, 27,700 letters flooded in.
number of shows STF produces for adults. All are in
indigenous languages as less than 15% of adults are A second measure of listenership is field data. In
comfortable with English. 2008 STF reviewed its 2006-10 Strategic Plan.
This qualitative evaluation shed light on what
Each Parent Talk show is also communities thought of the
broadcast on multiple stations. youth and parent shows in
Thus in 2008 STF aired 23 Kasese, Bugiri and Kitgum
Parent Talk shows a week for a districts. Responses were
total of 1196 half hour shows. deeply positive with radio
the most mentioned STF
Radio as interpersonal intervention.
STF radio journalists make
four trips a year to the field, Young people could list
collecting material for 13 lessons they had learnt and
shows each trip. In 2008 the repeatedly praised shows for
youth journalists visited 79 out five features: being “straight”,
of Uganda’s 80 districts. interactive, comprehensive,
youth-specific, and in the local
Communication theory language.
distinguishes between mass
media and interpersonal “The radio show has done a
communication. However, lot of guidance for us young
there is a large interpersonal people,” said a girl in Bugiri.
element to STF radio work. In “All your questions are
2008, STF’s youth journalists answered. You feel relieved.”
reached 2500 youth in one-
on-one interviews and almost Parent Talk “I get my information from the
25,000 in FGDs. The nine Parent Talk listeners in Straight Talk show every Sunday at 6:30
journalists also reached hundreds of Katakwi: The show pm on Radio Messiah,” said a boy from
promotes couple
adults. Meaningful radio cannot be Kasese. “With my friends, we talk about
dialogue but STF is still
done without extensive face-to-face. struggling with how to it. I try to do what I hear. For instance,
address polygyny. if I must meet a girl, I use a condom.”
With only four trips to the field per
year, STF’s radio team may appear Adults also appreciated the shows. Said
to be cut off from listeners. In reality, they are a local council chairman in Kasese: “I know STF has
touch by letters and phone. “It’s a daily contact,” two shows on Sunday. I am a parent so I listen to the
says Radio Director Annette Kyosimiire: “They parent one, although I also sometimes listen to the
know what’s happening because of the letters. one for young people. I find all of them useful.”
Adolescents write and say, ‘Last time you were here,
you gave us seeds. Now it’s raining and we have For some adults, Parent Talk has been a revelation.
planted.’” Said one father: “I have learnt that
women are not supposed to be forced
“I get called by counsellors,” says into sex, that sex takes the consent of
Charity Cheptoris, STF radio two people and that if she says no, I
journalist for Sabiny youth. “They should respect her feelings.”
might say that the girls are getting
married, and we are having problems Quantitative data on listenership
in the hospitals. Please talk about it. collected in 2009 showed that over
Once a nurse called me to say that 70% of parents listened to Parent Talk
they have mobile VCT but people fear in Sironko and Mbale and over 70%
to come for counselling. She asked me of Karimojong adolescents had heard
to announce it on radio and tell them their youth show. This is similar to the
to feel free.” Population Council survey (2005-6),
which found that 83% of adolescents in Apac, 86% in
Quality and listenership Arua, 84% in Ntungamo and 83% in Soroti had ever
How many listeners write in is a measure of a listened to their local language show.


When radio is also face-to-face

n 2008 STF’s youth radio when they see the dildo. Some
journalists demonstrated boys put it in the front of their
condom use on every pants to demonstrate. Girls are
trip upcountry, reaching about shy to demonstrate but always
15,000 youth. Only about 30% listen. They believe that it is a
of sexually-active 15-19 year man to put on the condom, not
olds used a condom at first them to put it on their partner.”
sex (UHSBS, 2004-5). Seeing a
condom demonstration is the In line with Ministry of
best indicator of knowledge of Education guidance, STF
correct condom use (National never distributes condoms in
Adolescent Survey, 2006). schools, though students ask
for them. Even before the MoES
Hardened to embarrassment, formulated guidelines, STF had
STF radio journalists slip reasons not to.
condom demos into Q&A For one, students can
sessions. Says Paula be expelled for romantic
Amaniyo, the Lugbara A listener demonstrates how to relationships.
youth radio journalist: “When use a condom in a radio focus group
they ask something like ‘are discussion. Below: Paula Amaniyo. Paula feels STF’s restraint is
condoms 100% safe?’, you invite right: “It’s not good for us to
a volunteer from their side to give out condoms. People will
demonstrate. They always accept. think we are the ones making them
You keep observing what they are have sex. We refer students to shops,
doing and correct them if necessary. clinics and the family planning
Yumbe SS was the only school that association. After listening to us,
ever refused me to do it. They said those who need go and get.”
the Moslem religion did not allow
it.” But the balance is delicate. Many
students do not make that trip for
Adds Paula: “Students get excited condoms and have unprotected sex.

Counselling is part of radio duties: Zaituni Nabateregga,

STF’s Luganda Parent Talk radio journalist, in Masaka with a
family of orphans headed by the 16 year-old-girl on the left.


Six months later, STF’s M&E team traversed the area
to determine how the “blue radios” were being used
and the impact of STF conversations. It found far
greater exposure to radio than before. Many people
were listening in groups, as STF had advised.

“We always bring the radio to the tree to listen to

STF shows,” said a boy, 16. “We get it from the
leader of the manyatta. After we listen, we take it
back.” But some, particularly males, admitted to
taking it for themselves. “We use it when we take
the cows for grazing because it is very lonely,” said
a boy, 17.

STF radio shows and news were the most listened

to programs. “I learn news, like vehicles being
ambushed,” explained a girl, 15. “From educative
programs, I get to know that it is time to go back to
Working in hard places: STF journalist
for the Nga’karimojong youth show, Anna-
Indeed, the biggest impact seems to have been
Mary Lokwii, interviews a child.
improved attitudes towards education. Traditionally
an educated Karimojong is seen as de-
culturalised. Education is said to turn girls
into prostitutes.

“I did not go to school,” said a young woman,

20. “But I have learnt that I will take my
children to school. This is because there
are many benefits like they tell us on that
show. This is the most important thing I have

In 2009 STF will expand its work in Karamoja,

adding weekly radio shows in Pokot and
Lepthur, languages spoken by Karamoja sub-
Hard to reach: Karamoja groups.
STF’s most spectacular radio effort in 2008
took place in arid Karamoja, where traditional
cattleraiding has evolved into armed conflict. In
Field visits/work by STF radio staff in 2008
2008 security was better but over 700,000 out of Language Districts Villages IDIs FGDs
Karamoja’s 1.1 million inhabitants needed food aid. visited visited
Lukonzo 2 40 208 1412
STF started its Nga’karimojong Straight Talk show in Ngakarimojong 5 30 156 5139
late 2006. Further funds from Unicef allowed STF to Luganda 11 40 156 1288
set up an office in Moroto and launch Parent Talk in
Runyankole-Rukiga 9 40 162 1470
Nga’karimojong in 2008.
Lusoga 6 40 199 2089
Radio ownership in Karamoja is low: less than 30% Urufumbira 2 40 156 1043
of adults listen at least once a week compared to Ateso 7 42 166 1218
87% nationally (DHS, 2006). So STF also distributed Lugbara 5 63 160 1915
5139 windup-solar radios to schools (353), Lumasaba 4 40 192 3689
health units (97), literacy groups (373), non-
Lusamia 2 48 224 1006
formal education groups (292) and “manyattas”,
the fortified homesteads (3721). Every manyatta Kupsabiny 2 40 156 510
received two radios - one for males and one for Luo 8 40 208 1272
females. English 11 40 208 880
Runyoro-Rutoro 5 40 198 1305
The radio had to be demonstrated and signed for. It
took four teams three weeks in October 2008, often 14 languages 79 609 2549 24,238
moving with army escorts, to deliver them all.


Youth radio journalist: how do you get the courage to talk?

ilberforce Musimana,
24, joined STF in
January 2008. At
the time he spotted the STF
advertisement for a Lusamia
journalist, he was working
on construction sites to put
himself through business
school at night. Like many
rural youth, it had taken him
many years to complete high

“I went to five different high

schools, I would study, the
bill would accumulate and
then I would have to leave.
Sometimes I would attend
for just three weeks in a
term but I would always get
notes and learn.”

He never knew his father

and grew up with his
grandparents. His mother
remarried and now lives in Wilberforce used a computer. Everything was hard.
Kenya: the Basamia people inhabit both interviews a “You get these interviews, then have to
sides of the border. school girl in come in with narrations, so you have to
Bugiri: There is a do research. Like if I am talking about
Wilberforce knew STF papers as a child. synergy between menstruation - what are the main
print and radio. Areas issues I put forward?”
“In primary school, they would bring
with local language
us Young Talk. Of course, they were few ST shows have higher
and we would share. I started reading readership of the Interviews were easier: “A person tells
the papers for fun but as I went on I English STF papers. you part of their life, and you advise
saw they were educative.” them. I tell them what I went through,
that you can make it if you use every chance that
Wilberforce’s background of resilience and comes.”
hardship makes him perfect as an STF youth
journalist. Small, slight and not yet married or a Like all STF radio journalists, WIlberforce is a
father, no youth would perceive him as an older well-known figure at home. “People in the villages
person talking down to them. know me. My friends are so proud. They say ‘Hey
man, how do you get courage to talk about those
In primary school, Wilberforce witnessed a scene things?’ You know, when we were growing up, we
that made him want to work for young people. “It were not meant to talk about sex.”
never went out of my head,” he says. “A girl had
stained herself. Pupils were shouting ‘you have Wilberforce has 47 listener clubs. “We normally
blood on your dress’, like it was a dirty thing. give them seeds and sometimes piglets, “ he says.
The girl almost collapsed. It seems it was her first “These cause collective efforts so that when they
time.” come together they can share.”

Christmas parties in the village also made him He received 1781 letters in 2008 and is on course
uneasy. “I saw things that were not right. A girl to get his required minimum of 3000 in 2009.
goes there very innocent and young. The boys
make her drink and then use her up. When she “Radio is a good way to reach people.” he says.
goes back to school in January, she is pregnant.” “The STF papers are in English. But when you talk
on air, you get a chance to explain in your mother
When WIlberforce started at STF, he had never tongue what they do not know.”


Straight Talk youth radio shows

STF broadcasts for youth

and adolescents in 14
languages. All of Uganda
receives the English Straight
Talk radio show. Thirteen
Trend in the ratio of male to female writers 2005-2008 groups receive broadcasts in
GENDER 4 their languages.
STF youth shows used to receive 3 to

4 letters from boys for every one letter Alur, Madi, Kakwa and

from a girl. But in 2008, the shows

2.7 Japadhola-speakers had no
had increasingly girl-focused content, STF show in their language

2.5 R atio

and boys and girls contributed almost 2

(white areas). The red circles
equally to six out of 14 shows. Only to 1.5
show some of the 40 radio
the Lwo and Lugbara shows are over 1 stations STF used to air its
70% of letters still from boys. 2005 2006 2007 2008
shows in 2008.
Letters recieved by language-2008

ST youth radio shows 4500
received 27,700 letters in
2008 up from 14,504 in 4000

Despite the conflict and 3000 2676 2657

greater poverty in the 2309
2500 2175
North, the Lwo show
No. of letters
brought in the greatest 1896 18201754
2000 1577
number, followed by the 1447
English show and the two 1500
shows for 4Rs- speakers in 833 810
western Uganda.
Per capita the Lukhonzo
show attracted the most 0
letters, with one in every









67th Mukonzo youth












writing in.








Topics of the 52 Straight Talk youth radio shows 2008
1. Staying safe 27. Sexual discrimination record eight topics originating
2. Alcohol and relationships 28. Bride price - boys and girls with the community; five on topics
3. Sugar mummies/daddies 29. PEP decided in Kampala and based on
4. Responsible living 30. Menstruation the national drivers of HIV; and three
5. Working as adolescents 31. Technical Education doctor shows. Thus, for example, the
6. Using condoms 32. Quiz round up
Lufumbira journalist produced two
7. Domestic violence/alcohol 33. Sex at first sight
8. Staying in school special shows on
34. Sex for adventure (boys)
10. Sex for something 35. Sex for adventure (girls) child prostitution
11. HIV prevention 36. Sex for revenge in Kisoro and
12. Behaviour change 37. Sex without love the Batwa pygmy
13. Early pregnancy 38. Bride price (girl’s view) community.
14. Fighting poverty 39. Bride price (boy’s view)
15. Casual sex 40. Bride price & violence Lumasaba
16. Sex for marriage 41. New year’s resolutions journalist, Peter
17. Sex and poverty 42. Virginity (boys) Matanda,
18. Extra marital sex. 43. Christmas show produced
19. Alcohol and relationships 44-52. Doctor/counselor shows
two shows on
20. Gender and culture
There is some variation traditional male
21. VCT
22. Gender equality between language streams circumcision,
23. Quiz review as communities themselves an event usually
24. Polygamy suggest topics, and the shows accompanied by risky merrymaking:
25. Stigma are audience-led. On every the young male must test his
26. Disability and violence trip upcountry, the journalists unhealed penis by having sex.

Bust and boom: letters rebound in 2008

ll communication no longer fully identified, and
projects need an in-built lost the passion for listener
feedback mechanism. dedications. Listeners who wrote
Letters are the best gauge would receive a reply often after
of whether a communication months or sometimes not at all. by name and answers three
activity still hits the mark. listener questions. Letters
Letters to radio had been In 2008 STF brought in new increased for all shows,
declining since 2005. journalists for its youth radio even those still run by older
shows in English, Lwo, Ateso, journalists. The target for
Longstanding journalists were Lugbara, Lumasaba, Luganda 2009 is 40,000, derived
getting older and had begun and Kupsabiny. It insisted that from the number that STF
to sound like health workers. every letter be answered within would receive if all listeners
They had disengaged from the month. Every show now responded as much as
the listeners, with whom they dedicates songs to 12 listeners Bakhonzo youth do.

Com parison of letters to ST Youth Radio show s 2005-2008


Y r 2005
6000 Y r 2006
No. of letters

5000 Y r 2007
4000 Y r 2008



10 0 0























Bottling Biira: making radio ”thick” with meaning
STF youth journalist Wilberforce
Musimana (see p.21) was like a
time bomb. He ticked along then
suddenly exploded, seizing the
power of personal narrative.

Listeners can distinguish great from

OK. The challenge is to convey to
the “just OK” journalists what STF
seeks. And can it be taught? Or is
it instinctive or personality? Peter
Matanda, STF’s new Lumasaba
journalist, was great from the start,
doubling the letters from his area
in 2008. If STF could “bottle” what
journalist Biira Gedi does, STF’s
youth shows would receive 60,000
letters a year.

Great radio is thick with images and

insights. The personal stories are
lived - not correct versions that the
interviewee thinks the journalist
Warmth: Biira Gedi, STF’s wants. It embraces complexity. It
Lukhonzo journalist with a is not bland. Listeners think “that
mother in Kasese. could be me!” and “I was wondering
about that!” It contains inspiration.

TF radio shows are not of equal quality. Some Great radio journalists reflect intelligently on what
are “great”, others “OK”. STF mentors the the interviewee said and ask the question the
journalists who produce the “OK” shows; a listener would ask if she or he were there.
journalist who is capable of “great” coaches them.
Sometimes the issue is attitude: they look down on All these are cardinal rules of good journalism.
the people they interview. This can be corrected, Communication for social change adds another one:
and most OK journalists click with time. involve the audience.

Topics of the 52 Parent Talk radio shows 2008

arent Talk is funded from three 14. Personal hygiene
sources: Civil Society Fund, PSI 15. Gender and agriculture
and UNITY, a USAID education 16. Diarrhorea in positive people
project. So there is some variation 18. Couple communication
between the language streams. 19. Domestic violence
The following is a composite list of 20. Defilement
21. Disclosure
22. Early marriage
23. Meeting children’s needs
1. Breastfeeding in mothers with HIV
24. Extramarital relationships -
2. Men and pregnancy
men’s perception 35. Child abuse
3. Male family involvement
25. Extramarital relationships- 36. Christmas highlights
4. Parent-child talk
women’s perception 37. New year’s resolutions
5. Discordance
26. Work and marriage 38. HIV and nutrition
6. Immunization
27. Brideprice 39. VCT
7. Girls’ education
28. Women’s rights 40. Caring for people with HIV
8. Protecting children from abuse
29. Parental responsibilities 42. Family planning
9. Identifying children’s talents
30. HIV and family planning 43. Alcohol
10. Handling children with disability
31. HIV and violence. 44. Taking children to school and
11. Faithfulness in marriage (men)
32. Children’s rights retention
12. Faithfulness in marriage
33. Partner communication 45. STDS: Gonorrhoea
34. Polygamy 46.-52. Quizzes
13. Extramarital relationships


Crowd sourcing: the wisdom of many

TF’s youth shows run “Quizzes” on “My husband hits me every night. I
dilemmas that young people face. have nowhere to go. My father drank
Listeners send in answers that are the brideprice. My brothers will not
read on air. The apparent motivation for house me. Should I remarry? Become
listeners who write in is that they may a prostitute? How will my children
win prizes such as hoes, buckets, seeds grow up?” To this, a listener wrote:
and exercise books. “She should not leave her children. She
should go to the women lawyers for
But STF’s motivation in posing the help. Imagine leaving your kids with a
quiz questions is to get listeners to sit step mother who will mistreat them like
quietly pen in hand and reflect on a orphans.”
difficult life issue that they too could
Radio Q3: The girl is in secondary school. A
encounter. Says Radio Director
director: In man who employs her mother says he
Annette Kyosimiire: “For us, it is a way
office (above) will sack her if the girl refuses to have
of provoking them to identify what they
and in the sex with him. Her mother’s job pays her
would do if they were caught in such a field in a school fees. To this, a listener wrote:
scenario. These quizzes give them an real crowd ”This girl should avoid offers from this
exercise in thinking about their lives.” (below).
man since they can make her give in to
Quizzes in 2008 included: him.”
Q1: A girl with HIV loves a boy who
promises to marry her. Her mother tells
her not to tell him that she has HIV. She
wants to tell the boy but fears he may
end the relationship. To this, a listener
wrote: “It would be merciful if the girl
told the boy that she has HIV so the boy
can make his choice. A counselor can
give them advice on how to marry or
separate kindly.”

Q2: A young woman is anguished:

Radio partnerships in 2008

Basic Care - PSI/CDC: Parent Talk shows in HIPS - USAID: Produced 13 half-hour shows
Luganda, Lumasaba, 4Rs and Lwo on positive living, for the Good Life at Work Campaign in Lugwere,
adult relationships and sexuality. Eight spots in Runyoro-Rutooro and Luganda on TB, malaria, FP,
eight languages on 32 stations on palliative care HIV.
(e.g. making a will, managing a patient in pain).
SPRING - USAID: Supported live and pre-recorded
Unity - MOES/USAID: Parent Talk shows on radio shows in Acholi and Langi on post-conflict
education, parenting, HIV and adult sexuality in topics. Produced 12 one-minute spots.
Ateso, Lwo, 4Rs, Luganda and Lugbara.
ALREP - FAO: Five live talk shows, five pre-
Rock Point 256 - USAID: Youth soap opera recorded shows and five spots in Langi and Acholi
recorded in Luo and Ateso and post-produced in on reconstruction of agricultural livelihoods in
Luganda, Luo and Ateso: 152 half-hour episodes. northern Uganda.

Crane survey - CDC: Translated/recorded lengthy MDG3 - Danida & Grameen AppLab- (see p35)
research questionnaire in English/
Limelight Ltd - Road safety: Eight radio team
spots in English/Luganda. members
ACS - Unicef: Eight spots in Because of
Lepthur, Pokot and Nga’karimojong travel, the
on accelerated child survival (e.g. whole team
immunisation, diarrhoea). Spots aired is rarely in
on three stations for two months; the office
also live talks shows. together.



OTD’s Godfrey
People reached by STF face-to-face work in 2008
Walakira joined STF
when he was 18, one In primary schools
of a cohort of bright • Teachers sensitised 982
and determined • Pupils trained as peer educators 250
adolescents that In secondary schools (and some tertiary)
STF took in 2000-1. • Teachers sensitised 85
STF invested heavily • Students trained as peer educators 239
in mentoring and • Girls (PSI: Cross-gen, Go-getters) 184
• Students reached by int’l volunteers 26,130
training these youth. • Students reached thru “on call” visits 11,542
Godfrey has repaid • Girl scholarship beneficiaries (Mvule) 205
this by growing into
In the community
an extraordinarily • District advocacy meetings (adults) 143
talented trainer. • Village fairs (youth and adults) 13,874
• Workplace sensitisations (HIPS) 1834
Such young people are • Parent dialogues 171
often poached from • Parent dialogues (Mvule) 521
STF to projects with Sub-total 58,245
much higher salaries. Gulu Youth Centre 86,173
This is a grave Kitgum Youth Centre 37,275
challenge faced by
indigenous NGOs. Total 181,693


ace-to-face work were secondary school students,
with adolescents, 1005 primary and secondary school
parents and teachers teachers, and 16,000 out-of-school
is the third prong of STF’s youth and adults. The cost was about
behaviour change strategy. $4 per person directly reached.
It has a history. Once
headteachers saw Straight Individuals were reached with different
Talk newspaper in 1993, “packages”, e.g., primary teachers
they wanted the people received two day trainings while
behind it to visit their parents reached in village fairs were
school. With health workers, exposed to several hours of “talk”
the editors would answer -- testimonies from people with HIV,
students’ questions. In question and answer sessions with
1998 STF recruited staff to local nurses and drama by out-of -
work full-time to satisfy the school STF clubs.
desperate need in schools
for HIV and sex education. However, the common denominator of
all face-to-face work is a commitment
A woman
Today the need is just as to prevent HIV/AIDS by situating it in
teacher speaks
great, and STF has eight full-time the context of relationships and sexuality. STF uses
up at a primary
Kampala-based staff and teams a sexual health promotion, not disease prevention,
school teacher
in Gulu and Kitgum devoted to approach.
sensitisation: Just
“face time” with young people and
39% of primary
important people in their lives. In 2008 the OTD team worked in over 800 schools.
school teachers are
The literature on HIV prevention distinguishes
In 2008, STF estimates, these between curriculum-based school interventions and
face-to-face communicators, non-curriculum-based ones, such as spontaneous
including those from the northern youth centres question and answer sessions, stories about HIV at
(see p31-33), reached about 180,000 people, a school assemblies, and opportunistic counselling.
sharp increase over 2007. Increased funding allowed (WHO/UNAIDS/Unicef. 2006. Preventing HIV/AIDS
more people to be reached, but STF also performed in young people: a systematic review of evidence from
better on capturing the data on those reached. developing countries)

In 2008 STF spent about $550,00 (UGX 1 billion) on Curriculum-based efforts are thought to be more
face-to-face work, abut 16% of its total spend. This effective, but non-curriculum-based interventions
works out at about $3 per person reached directly can also have great impact if the implementers
by an STF trainer, fieldworker or counsellor. are skilled and sensitive. STF does both. Its largest
non-curriculum-based efforts in school are visits by
Outreach and training international students and the “on-call” scheme.
In 2008 the Kampala outreach and training
department (OTD) had a budget of $237,000 School visits
(UGX 450 million). It reached about 58,000 people In 2008, led by STF club mobiliser Moses Ssebbale,
through teacher sensitisations, school visits and students from Birmingham and Munich universities
community work. This was almost double the reached about 26,000 secondary students in 45
estimated 28,245 reached in 2007. If youth reached schools in Tororo, Busia and Bugiri with skits,
by peer educators are counted, the figures rises by a condom demos and discussions in boy/girl groups.
further 60,000.
STF reached a further 11,500 students after being
Of those reached by OTD in 2008, about 39,000 summoned to schools. “On call” visits are often

Primary school teacher sensitisations 2001-2008

Year Teachers Schools Districts
2201/3 6971 2588 Lira, Neb, Arua, Palissa, Gulu, Rukungiri, Kamuli, Kalangala, Apac
2004 2840 920 Hoima, Luwero, Masaka, Mukono, Soroti
2005 4144 2000 Hoima, Soroti, Kabarole, Mbale, Kumi, Apac, Mukono, Kiboga
2006 3814 1907 Hoima, Soroti, Kabarole, Mbale, Kumi, Apac, Mukono, Kiboga
2007 1328 476 Mayuge, Kitgum, Yumbe, Moyo
2008 982 476 Katakwi, Amuria, Kabarole, Arua, Karamoja, Pader

TOTAL 18,765 8367


triggered by ASRH calamities such as Peer “I like the way you facilitate on how gender
abortions or drug use. Says Ssebbale: “A education roles bring HIV infection in a relationship.
headteacher might say ‘My two best students training at Culture has made us believe that females are
have just dropped out due to pregnancy. inferior.”
PS, Arua:
Please help me out. Talk to the boys, talk Pupils act out a
to the girls’. Sometimes they call us to help role play. STF’s primary school teacher curriculum
start a club that can solve such issues.” clearly has impact. But with just one teacher
for every 53 pupils and 30% of teachers
Though lacking a set curriculum, these efforts absent on any one day, schools struggle to impart
contain a “minimum package” of talk on delaying/ numeracy, let alone HIV and sex education. Thus,
stopping sex, condom use, VCT, body changes and in 2008, STF decided to also train pupils as peer
handling life pressures. “Just answering educators.
questions does not help everyone because
there are always people who are too shy to “The teachers get so busy that we
ask,” says Ssebbale. thought to bring the children on board,”
explained OTD’s Peter Mubala. “We
Headteachers are profoundly grateful. wanted a stronger multiplier effect.”
After one on-call visit, a headmaster said:
“STF. when you visit our schools, you cure STF was leery of the term “peer educator”,
many of our worries and make us settle often used for lightly-trained youth
down to read.” who “do something” with other youth.
So in July 2008, 35 STF staff underwent
Primary school sensitisations training by Kenya’s National Organisation
In 2008 STF also carried out curriculum-based work, of Peer Educators. STF then embarked on a project
such as primary teacher sensitisations. Since 2000 under which teachers receive the same sensitisation
STF has helped almost 20,000 primary teachers as before but six learners per school undergo a
from 8000 schools to help adolescents and to three day peer education training, “focused on life
know more about their own sexual health. These skills, body changes, HIV, sexuality, and values and
sensitisations help to sustain PIASCY, the vital but goals,” according to Mubala.
flagging MoES HIV and sex education programme.
The results were encouraging. Backed by busy
Notes an STF report on the sensitisation in but supportive teachers, the pupils undertook a
Kaberamaido: “The knowledge acquired was plethora of activities. Mubala says: “It is amazing
reflected in the post-test. On the pre-test most what they are able to do -- talk at assemblies,
participants could not say what gender roles are or give HIV messages during breaks in sport, even do
how to support a young girl with menstrual pains.” private counselling of other pupils”. At Bondo Army
School in Arua, STF researchers found that the peer
A teacher from Otuboi PS said: “STF touched not educators had “reduced on the PIASCY teacher’s
only the pupils’ lives but also helped us to reflect work. They hold health talks which would have been
on how to lead healthy married life.” Another said: held by the PIASCY teacher.”


“If I had to choose between between older men and young
this and a straight teacher females, sex where one partner is
training, I’d choose the peer aged ten or more years older than
education model because it the other is a bridge over which
encourages dialogue in the HIV passes from one generation
school,” says M&E manager to the next. Under the project
Patrick Walugembe, who STF has trained 579 girl peer
evaluated the pilot in 2009. educators, who have reached an
estimated 50,000 other young
In total, STF trained 250 people.
primary school pupil peer
educators and 142 teachers STF also ran three PSI Go-
from 45 schools in Arua and getters camps for girls in tertiary
Moroto and 239 secondary education. Many girls at university
school peer educators get ensnared with older partners.
and 85 teachers from 49 These high profile camps were
schools in Kampala and opened by Her Royal Highness,
Kaberamaido. No model The Nabagereka of Buganda,
is failproof, however. Peer and closed by the speaker of
educators are “demoralised parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.
when they see their peers
involved in risky behaviours Mvule Trust sponsors 1828
they have addressed in students in secondary school and
school,” reports Walugembe. on professional courses such as
Above: The final day of the Go
“They are ever reporting forestry and nursing: 75% are
Getter camp: a young woman walks
on friends who have failed to up to make a presentation on cross female. Mostly from families
follow what they teach.” generational sex. where girls’ education is little
valued, these girls need constant
Special for girls Below: to talk and be listened to: support to stay in school and
Girls need extra attention if A girl in West Nile talks to STF counsellor avoid pregnancy.
they are to stay safe. So in Adrine Kanyesigye, who listens intently.
2008 STF worked intensively STF counselors moved with the
with Population Services International and sister Mvule team to Teso and West Nile to talk face-
NGO Mvule Trust STF to challenge the thinking to-face with the girls, many of whom are under
of about 1000 girls. PSI supported STF to work in pressure to marry to bring brideprice to their
Mukono, Wakiso, Luwero, Mpigi and Masaka districts families. It also facilitated a science camp for 120 of
to reduce cross-generational sex. Most common the best Mvule science students.


STF’s Falal
Work in communities Rubanga with about Straight Talk and never dreamt that one
As a precursor to face-to-face work young fishermen day I would be sitting with these people who
in districts, STF carried out advocacy in Lugala village, talk about healthy sex. Straight Talk makes
Bugiri: ready cash it easy to understand what our parents
meetings in Pader, Kaberamaido and
from fishing puts
Moroto. These one-day workshops avoided to tell us.”
them at risk of HIV.
convene district officials, youth and
political leaders, and CBO/NGOs. Other work
In total STF worked with 143 opinionmakers STF trainers supported the HIPS-USAID
to raise the profile of ASRH. At the Kaberamaido project to reach 1834 workers on plantations and
meeting, a police officer gave data on defilement with Tullow Oil and the Kasese cobalt mine with
and complained that parents prefer to be information on TB, malaria, family planning and
compensated by the family of the boy rather than HIV/AIDS.
take the case to court.
In Kisoro, OTD reached 1281 young people face-to-
To reach out-of-school youth and parents, STF face. Funded by Cordaid, STF has ten clubs with 780
holds village fairs. These are grassroots events at members: four clubs are for in school youth, six for
which STF distributes local language Straight Talks the out-of-school. Kisoro is densely populated with
and facilitates local health units and CBOs to carry small landholdings. Men migrate to Kampala for
out VCT and hold dialogues on healthy sexuality. work. When they return, often after several years,
they want to resume sex with their wives, “although
In 2008 STF organised 24 fairs in the eight districts we are not sure that they are safe,” as one young
of Pader, Nebbi, Masaka, Pallisa, Kabarole, woman explained. Male club members said that they
Kabale, Kaberamaido and Kayunga. In would refuse to test for HIV with their wife
Pader, as an example, STF collaborated outreach and on return. “Only a prostitute could ask me
with GOAL, CESVI and Kalongo Hospital. training team: to do such a thing,” said one man. Face-
Costing a total of 30 million UGX, these M Ssebbale, A to-face discussion is the best way to help
fairs reached over 13,000 people at a Kanyesigye, J communities untangle such complexities.
cost of about $1.10 per person. In total Omach, F Rubanga,
1692 people underwent VCT: 175 were B Bainomugisha, P Finally, in 2008, OTD also worked with:
Mubala. G Walakira
found to have HIV. Most startling was • 171 parents in Moroto and Arua • 296
appears on p.27.
that 108 out of the 169 people parents as part of the
who tested in Masaka were “cross-gen” project • 32
positive: prevalence around staff from seven CBOs
Lake Victoria is many times on SGBV and teachers
the national rate of 6.4% . STF from seven primary
choses underserved areas for schools to set up Young
village fairs. Talk clubs in Pader. •
adolescents with hearing
In Anyara, Kaberamaido, the disabilities through
chief said: “I grew up hearing Uganda Deaf Link.


Youth Centres have any rights apart from seconding what a male
has decided.” Such beliefs have a great impact on

ulu Youth Centre (GYC) is located in
the largest town in central northern
GYC staff made weekly outreaches to eight camps
Uganda. Set up in 2004, it was STF’s
(Kal ali, Cwero, Tegot Atoo, Olam Nyungu, Bira,
first attempt to provide services and create
Otong Paboo, Jeng Gari) in Paicho and Pabbo
a youth-friendly space. It opened during the
subcounties. For Save the Children, they also
night commuter crisis, when thousands of
oversaw and extended VCT and sexual and gender-
children trekked into town nightly to avoid
based violence (SGBV)
the rebels.
services to youth centres in
Paicho, Alero, Atiak, Lalogi
2008 was a year of peace
and Bobbi.
in the north, with no rebel
attacks and about half of the
In 2008 GYC reached an
camp population returning
estimated 86,173 young
to their family land or
people in Gulu and Amuru
temporary camps nearby.
districts. This large increase
This transition threw up
on 2007 is partly due to
new risks. As parents left to
better record keeping. The
open up their fields, children
estimated cost per person
and adolescents remained
reached was $2.40. A total
unsupervised. Defilement
of 15,129 young people
seemed to proliferate in
were reached with general
the half-empty camps.
counseling; 14,893 with
Camp leaders destroyed
VCT; and 10,578 through
deserted huts to make the
GYC’s 210 peer educators.
environment safer. But as in
all previous years, GYC faced In 2008, 4% of those tested
a youth population with were positive for HIV, slightly
profound needs. down on the 4.8% in 2007:
4.9% of females and 3.1%
GYC has a small library for of males were positive.
youth to study in, a room Infection rises with age from
for watching videos, a lab, 0.8% in 10-14 year olds to
areas for sport, and rooms 1.9% in 15-19 year olds to
for counseling. Funded by 7.3% in 20-24 year olds.
Civil Society Fund and USAID Over 5400 youth received
in 2008, in GYC received medical services, most
$210,365 (UGX 400 million) commonly for rashes (16%);
or 6% of STF’s total budget and malaria and genital
Above: young
to implement a range of clinical and talk women return from itching (14% each).
activities. This works out at about $2.40 their fields in Gulu.
per person reached. At 18.2 years, girls in northern Uganda
Below: GYC has 23 have lowest age of first birth in Uganda.
GYC provides daily VCT and medical staff including peer The national average is 19.1 (DHS,
services such as family planning and STI educators, counsel-
2006). Abortion appears common
lors, lab technicians,
treatment. GYC also invites all boys and and often fatal among school girls.
nurses, a clinical of-
girls to attend separate talks to help them ficer and a manager. Birth spacing is also a concern: some
think about risky gender norms, such as married girls have three babies by age
pride at having multiple 20 and report to GYC with
partners for boys and exhaustion. Thus, besides
submissiveness on the part providing “conversations”
of girls. on delaying/stopping sex,
in 2008 GYC focused on
Northern Uganda has a increasing family planning
culture of masculinity that is use in young women who
probably more exaggerated have sex.
than elsewhere in Uganda.
Notes a GYC report: “at one The push was a success. In
outreach a man said that in 2007 GYC supplied family
Acholi culture, females don’t planning to about 300 young


potentially-infected body fluids. Free
PEP after rape is government policy,
although this is not widely known. PEP can
theoretically be accessed at any of the 336
health units with ARVs countrywide.

With funds from MAIA, a new foundation,

GYC had a doctor and social worker from
Nairobi Women’s Hospital, which has
given PEP to over 6000 females, train 44
STF staff and five district health workers.
MAIA then funded GYC to reach out to
communities. GYC sensitised 1198 people
on 24 outreaches, and worked with 31
survivors. “We had planned for 300 but
people do not know about PEP or are
ashamed to report” says Jackline Akongo,
the SGBV counselor at GYC.

Of the 31 survivors, 12 received PEP;

five received emergency contraception.
Two were children; four were male. Four
defilement cases were referred for legal
aid. None of the survivors who received
PEP became HIV positive, but Jackie’s
Above: notes make hard reading:
at GYC “Girl, 6, defiled. Man, 30, took her to
under a hut. When she did not come out, friends
mango tree: reported to police. Man caught. GYC took
adolescents her to Gulu Hospital for PEP.”
use VCT as a
chance to talk “Girl, 18, went to harvest G-nuts. Two
about their men from the bush told her not to scream
lives. or they would kill her with her hoe. One
grabbed her hands and stepped on her
Left: feet as one raped her. Then the other
registration at raped her. GYC took her to hospital for

“Girl, 7, defiled by stepfather 3 times.

women. This rose to 1692 in 2008. Says clinical Neighbors alerted mother as girl would leave for
officer Sarah Lanyero: “Unmarried girls have mixed school late, walking strangely. Husband arrested.
feelings about FP. “They know they can get pregnant Girl negative. Put on PEP. Husband’s relatives chased
but wonder why they should be on regular birth mother from house. Survivor counseled to stay at
control if they don’t have sex regularly.” Clients school even after younger sister told other pupils
receiving condoms also rose from 797 in 2007 to about her situation.”
4568 in 2008. Almost all were boys.
Other cases were a boy bitten in a fight and a girl,
One disappointment was the relative decline 15, defiled by a witchdoctor.
in female attendance. In 2007, by placing
girl greeters at the GYC gate and taking In 2009 GYC will focus on attracting
other girl-friendly steps, girl clients rose to more girls and balancing biomedical and
57% of the total. In 2008, this fell to 51%, “talk” interventions. Says Centre Manager
a reminder that reaching girls requires Dennis Kibwola: “As families return
constant extra effort: the most at need are home, we shall fight hard to reach young
the least likely to come for services. people. We do not want a fall back in
behaviour. Young people need continuous
In 2008 GYC started a SGBV programme talk. We also want to reach children with
with PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), special needs such as the deaf, blind and
the month-long course of ARVs given to adolescent sex workers, and we shall
prevent HIV infection after exposure to continue to be biased towards girls.”


itgum Youth Centre (KYC) is the younger
sister of GYC. It opened its doors in April
2007. With a staff of 13 and no vehicle, KYC
has a smaller programme, but is a critical actor in
improving adolescent health and reaching parents
in Kitgum.

In 2008 KYC was funded by SIDA and NUMAT/

USAID. It also took part in a World Learning
youth leadership project. KYC activities focused
on Kitgum Council and Lokung and Mucwini
subcounties. With funds worth UGX 195 million
or $102,000 UGX, KYC reached a total of 37,275
people. Almost all were youth but this also
included 1479 parents. This gives a cost per
person reached of about $2.75.

Almost 12,200 people were reached with VCT,

of whom 4.3% tested positive. Just 620 tested as
couples. Prevalence among females was 5.4%,
among males 3.9%. On youth-friendly staff that maintain confidences
and do not chastise them, Kenneth, 18, said: “When
KYC put much energy into school visits, reaching you go there you find people of your age and it is
3064 learners. It also worked with 229 young much easier to talk to them about your problem.
mothers. Family planning was modest with only Sometimes you can think that they have faced such.”
329 females receiving contraception. In addition,
just 572 young people, Another boy said: “At
mostly males, received KYC there are people
condoms, lower than who always look
the 1200 projected in concerned. In other
workplans. places the nurse may
abuse you. Like if you
However, statistics tell have an STD, they can
only part of the story. blame you that you
In mid 2008, as part of sleep around.”
its mid-term review,
STF researchers A girl, 18 said: “At
conducted a qualitative KYC you test with
study of how young anyone knowing. So
people experience the you feel encouraged.
work of KYC. It is a secret. Only the
counsellors know.”
STF found KYC deeply
appreciated by youth, “KYC is the only place
their comments where you are sure
centering around four you will not find your
positive attributes: free relative,” said a girl, 19.
services, confidentiality, VCT outreach “In clinics or hospitals, you can find your parents
friendliness of staff, and low risk to camps: A and they ask you why you are there,”.
of running into parents. KYC counselor
watches as a KYC’s challenges are similar to
“At KYC we get newspapers, boy consents those of GYC, and STF seeks
group teaching and also drama,” in writing to to standardise the packages
said one girl. “They also allow us have his blood offered by both. KYC must
to watch movies, which teach us drawn to be attract more girls and balance
many things well, like refusing tested for HIV in “talk” with medical services.
sex.” Trevor, 18, said: “All Ngomoromo IDP
activities here at KYC are free so camp. Says KYC manager
you save money from going to Janet Akao. “We have found
other clinics where you have to that talk is more powerful
pay. You know, we youth have no money.” than testing.”


Special events/projects
enmark is STF’s biggest donor with $1 million a year
committed for 2008-12. In 2008 STF interacted intensely
with the Royal Embassy of Denmark on two special events.

The MDG3 campaign

The first was a one month campaign to promote Millenium
Development Goal 3. The themes were “Do something extra
for women everyday” and “Invest in women”. The goal was to
promote national discussion about Uganda’s progress towards
MDG3. Three outstanding women were supported as “torch
bearers”: Her Royal Highness, Sylvia Nagginda, The Queen of
Buganda; Atuki Turner, the director of Mifumi Project, which
fights brideprice and gender violence; and Josephine
Okot, managing director of Victoria Seeds.

For the campaign, STF produced

leaflets and posters in 5 languages
and 52 half hour radio shows and 65
radio spots in 13 languages. The radio DORA

campaign ran on 14 radio stations May- EXWTOMEN

July 2008. You are
welcome: radio
journalist Zaituni
Visit from Crown Princess ANDA
Nabateregga explains
Becau STF radio to Mary
Second, on 27 September 2008, STF had the
ut the
get o
witho ? Elizabeth, the Crown
honour to be visited by Mary Elizabeth, the we m
ake it
. Will
Princess of Denmark.
Crown Princess of Denmark, who was on a
t of w
is empow

visit to Uganda to see Danida-funded projects. Design

: Michae
l Kalanz
i, STF

New user-driven SMS service for sexual health information

n July 2008, Grameen Foundation Application learning about sensitive issues while maintaining
Laboratory, Google, and MTN asked STF to their anonymity. One said: “This has helped me
generate content for an SMS-based health answer questions that I feared to ask publicly.” Many
information service in Uganda. Using knowledge users expressed trust in “6001” because it is linked
accumulated over ten years, STF journalists to Straight Talk. STF will to use SMS to complement
developed short answers (‘tips’) to common its other communication channels, empowering
questions about HIV/AIDS, STDs and sexuality. With adolescents to access ASRH information in an
Marie Stopes Uganda, STF has created over 400 tips exciting new way. STF will generate new content to
to-date. ensure that the system remains relevant, accurate,
and responsive to users’ interests and health
Users simply SMS questions to a short code information needs.
(6001); Google’s SMS Search technology searches
a database of locally-relevant tips, and returns an
instant response. The tips are informational, but
also aim to serve as a call-to-action, encouraging
users to seek attention from a health worker or
clinic. To support this behavior, there is also a
“Clinic Finder” service, which helps users locate
clinics in their area.

Though the service only went ‘live’ with an official

launch in June 2009, the pilot in Kyambogo, Mukono
and Katanga indicates potential: 3000 users sent
over 25,000 queries. Users express excitement
over getting answers to their own questions - often


Volunteers and interns
n 2008 a steady stream of national volunteers
contributed to STF’s mission. Most were S6
leavers waiting for university admission. They
were Philip Byaruhanga, who worked on distribution;
Charmaine Matovu, who worked on the Straight Talk
English radio show; Susan Byenkya and Dennis
Pato, who worked assiduously in editorial, logging
letters; Cynthia Ibale, who worked on reception;
Elizabeth Epenu, who assisted with ST clubs in OTD;
and Alex Taban, who input data in M&E.

The print department was also joined by Nurru Kisitu

(bottom left), a guidance and counselling student, 21,
who is living with HIV. STF had met her at the Paediatric
Infectious Diseases Clinic, interviewed her for the March
2008 Straight Talk, and invited her to join the team.

Though often sick as a child, Nurru did not learn that

she had HIV until 2005. “I could not believe I was
positive. I was a virgin,” she told Straight Talk. Infected around birth, Nurru has
lost her father. Her mother is also sick, although her three younger siblings are
all HIV negative. STF counts itself lucky to have Nurru. Besides her excellent
work, the editorial department learns from her and is humbled by the way she
tackles ARVs, bouts of pneumonia, and the ups and downs of her life with her

International volunteers and interns

Anna Dick, a graduate of the College of William and
Mary in the US, came to STF courtesy of Visions in
Action. She worked on STF school club databases
and in Northern Uganda on counseling protocols and
calculating the radius from which GYC clients come.

From VSO, STF received Michaele McConville, a

project manager at Citibank, Dublin. She worked for
nine months, helping STF to fully computerise its Big contribution: (clockwise from above) Michaele
McConville, Moriah Silver and Stuart Campo.
accounts, develop its financial manual and streamline
its financial procedures.

Moriah Silver and Janice Ndegwa, students of

Mount Holyoke College in the US, worked for two
months in Gulu Youth Centre. Moriah helped set up
GYC’s rape crisis service.

Jonathan Pulik came as an American Jewish World

Service volunteer. A journalist in Jerusalem, he worked
on STF’s newspapers.

Stuart Campo joined STF in July 2008 as a Princeton-

in-Africa fellow. As STF’s Special Projects Manager
he ensures the smooth running of Tree Talk (WCS-
USAID), Spring-USAID and all aspects of STF’s work
in Karamoja. He also worked on the Grameen-Google
SMS project.


Monitoring and evaluation
TF follows the maxim: “to crisis, while girls themselves
improve something, first spoke piteously about their
measure it”. fates. “Our parents do not
want to pay school fees and
In 2008 STF undertook its mid- force us to look for men to
term review of its Strategic Plan marry. But the men cannot
2006-10. With consultant Dr marry you before they have
Tom Barton, STF opted for a sex with you and sometimes
participatory evaluation. This, they give you diseases,” said
he suggested, would generate one girl.
“thick description” not found
in numeric summaries from In 2008 STF also examined
questionnaires and, in contrast Teacher Talk paper and
to “thumbs up or thumbs Parent Talk shows funded
down” external evaluations, by UNITY. About half of
would have a better chance of teachers interviewed had read
resulting in findings that are the latest Teacher Talk, while
owned and acted upon by STF. data from 153 parents found
“ever listened” to Parent Talk
STF trained youth to conduct to be 94% in Kumi and 51%
interviews and FGDs: these Masaka and Gulu. The most
research assistants then remembered message was the
reached about 400 people in importance of education.
Kitgum, Kasese and Bugiri.
Even in remote villages, youth, Finally, in early 2009, the M&E
teachers and parents were team looked at the STF-Unicef
found to know the STF radio Karamoja project in 2007-8.
shows and papers. In Kitgum Asked if they had ever listened
the youth centre was well to ST’s local language youth
known. Often respondents show, 72.3% of adolescents
described STF materials as their only The mid- in Nakapiripirit and Moroto said “yes”. This
resource on HIV and growing up and could term review: was up from 47.5% in early 2007, when show
identify positive change in their lives that STF’s Isaac first aired. “I have learnt not to worry when
Kato in Kitgum:
they attributed to STF. menstruation comes. I used to fear those
assistants in days but I now know that all the girls have it,”
From these findings, STF’s multi- Kasese. said Nangiro, 14, from Kotido.
media/multi-lingual approach seemed
to be working. STF was also meeting its Below: About 80% of parents interviewed in Moroto
numerical targets. It had planned to have Thoughtful and Nakapiripirit had ever listened to “Erwor
15 youth shows and eight parent shows Ngolo Angi Kaurak”. Equal proportions of
by 2008; it had 14 and nine respectively. team (from L men and women had listened: 29% cited the
It was reaching about 2.7 million more to R) I Kato, E importance of education as the key lesson
adults than in 2005 and had responded Namiburu, P learned.
to new thinking on the drivers of HIV and Walugembe
most-at-risk populations. and E Awour. STF’s mid-term evaluation and other studies
can be viewed on its general Scribd site:
Respondents’ main criticism was that they wanted
“more”: more shows, longer shows,
more languages, more copies,
faster replies to letters, more visits
from STF staff.

Clearly, too, communication for

social change could only do so
much for severely disadvantaged
groups such as out-of-school girls.
Adults identified girls as being in


Finance and administration
n 2008 STF received a total of UGX 7.8 billion, Northern Uganda (SPRING - UGX 163 million), STF is
about $4 million at an average exchange managing communication.
rate of $1=UGX 1905. This marked a 61%
increase from the UGX 4.9 billion received in 2007. Other USAID projects supported work across STF’s
Civil Society Fund (CSF) remained the single largest core areas. UNITY funded Parent Talk radio in five
contributor to STF, with just over UGX 4 billion languages and Teacher Talk newspaper (UGX 171
committed in 2008. million). UPHOLD and then NUMAT provided funds
to GYC and later KYC, mostly for VCT. PSI gave
funds for Parent Talk
The finance radio shows; a project
team: Michaele to prevent cross-
generational sex; and
Juliet Waiswa,
Nicodemus Go Getters Camps
Ogwech and (UGX 462 million).
Patricia Amito.
Not in the YEAH-USAID was
photo are a partnership to
auditor Robert produce the soap
Tumwijukye and opera Rock Point
cashier Cecilia 256; SFS-PATH
a partnership
to produce the
newspaper Scouts
Voice for Kenya and
Managed on the Uganda; and HIPS a
financial side by Deloite Uganda, CSF is the conduit partnership to provide health education to company
through which Danida, Dfid and Irish Aid/DCI workforces.
channel funds to STF. USAID also gave $150,000 for
GYC via CSF. CSF supported STF’s “core”: Young Talk STF’s agricultural and environment projects
and Straight Talk newspapers in English; 12 youth received funds from a variety of sources. Farm Talk
radio shows and two parent radio shows; district was funded by Danida (UGX 100 million). Tree Talk
advocacy meetings, health fairs; secondary school received funds from WFP, FAO, the British High
training; M&E; and most salaries, rent and utilities. Commission/Uganda Carbon Bureau and private
donors Madeleine and Timothy Plaut. Including
Longstanding donor SIDA contributed UGX WILD, these funds amounted to UGX 525,685,405
391,857,157 in 2008, supporting work in primary ($276,000).
schools and Kitgum Youth Centre.
STF’s youth centres were assisted by several
Funding from UNICEF of over UGX 500 million partners. Save the Children funded GYC to
allowed STF to open an office, produce radio shows supervise five youth centres (UGX 62 million). MAIA
and conduct face-to-face work in Karamoja. STF funded a pilot on sexual violence and the provision
also collaborated with UNICEF on an accelerated of PEP (UGX 32 million). World Learning partnered
child survival campaign. CORDAID, the Dutch with KYC on a youth leadership (UGX 53 million). In
funders, funded STF’s youth radio show in Pader, CESVI gave UGX 6 million to STF for work with
Lufumbira with club activities at a cost of UGX 83 CBOs and schools.
STF managed several small scholarship schemes
USAID funding increased significantly in 2008, with funding from MLK, Bottletop, Mvule Trust and
up 43% from 2007, with a total contribution of actress Natalie Portman.
UGX 1,712,727,402 from nine USAID projects. Of
note, 2008 saw the start of two USAID ‘special- STF also took part in three campaigns: with the
projects’ on which STF is a core implementing Royal Danish Embassy to promote Millenium
partner. Wildlife, Landscapes, and Development Development Goal 3 (UGX 580 million); with GTZ to
for Conservation (WILD - UGX 436 million) is promote vocational education (UGX 10 million); and
supporting Tree Talk in northern Uganda. For the with FAO to use radio to revitalise agriculture in the
project Stability, Peace, and Reconciliation in north (UGX 34 million).


Finally, STF and Centers for Disease Control worked Expenditure: programmes
together to produce research tools for high-risk Actual expenditure in 2008 was UGX 7.3 billion,
groups (UGX 10 million), and Grameen Foundation althought the forecast was UGX 7.8 billion.
worked with STF to generate a text messaging
service on SRH for young adults (UGX 11 million). Sixty-two per cent of STF’s budget went on
programmes. Of programme funds, 37% went on
radio, 23.4% on face-to-face activities (OTD, GYC
Expenditure by department of all and KYC), 16% on print, and 12% on STF’s Tree/Farm
Talk effort.
funds received by STF in 2008
OTD 452,329,000 This is a great change from just five years ago. In
2004, 53% of all program money went on print and
KYC 194,705,375
23% on radio and OTD each. The stronger spend
GYC 400,745,620 on radio is in line with STF’s Strategic Plan, which
Radio 1,618,368,687 commits it to reaching as many adolescents as
possible, particularly the out-of-school, rural and
Print 714,985,383
M & E 72,315,190
Capital Item 305,268,481 Out of the total expenditure, radio consumes 23%,
print 10%, Tree/Farm Talk 7%, OTD 6%, GYC 5% and
Capacity Building 93,298,401
KYC 3%. Monitoring and Evaluation took just 1%,
Admin 643,837,182 almost all of which went to the mid-term evaluation
Personnel 1,274,695,300 of the Strategic Plan.

Loan 94,426,313
Expenditure: support
Partnership Projects 924,141,848 Salaries for its 124 staff constituted 17% of STF’s
Natural Resources 525,685,405 total expenditure. STF’s work is people rich,
particularly its youth centres. The radio department
Total 7,314,802,185
also needs a journalist for every language show.

In 2008 STF spent 9% of its funds on administration

(rent, utilities, supplies, phones) and 4% on
capital items, including a new vehicle.
ST F % ta g e co n trib u tio n
STF Expenditure
In 2008 STF began an audit of
its human resources. This
Na tu ra l 6%
led to the development of a
3% new organogram.
R e so u rce s
Pa rtn e rsh ip
7% G YC
With consultants,
Pro je cts STF also developed
13% 5% a performance
management system,
with key result areas
Loan R a d io and key performance
indicators for every
1% 23% category of staff.
All staff underwent
training in resiliency.

Pe rso n n e l
Prin t
Ad m in
9% M&E
C a p a city C a p ita l Ite m 1%
Bu ild in g 4%


YEAR 2006 2007 2008
DCI 368,164,560 84,315,000 -
DFID 1,310,737,247 582,914,388 -
DANIDA 1,142,888,760 - -
SIDA 470,000,000 594,208,000 391,857,157
CIVIL SOCIETY FUND - 867,500,000 4,094,761,318
Sub Total 3,291,790,657 2,128,937,388 4,486,618,475
UNITY/ECD 166,303,200 93,831,050 173,758,565
UPHOLD 309,579,589 185,000,000 81,697,875
NUMAT - GYC - - 40,652,700
PSI 214,450,500 168,000,000 462,547,778
CORE 155,119,500 62,010,450 -
YEAH 298,609,402 206,297,165 149,653,105
SFS-PATH 169,815,690 142,856,050 85,640,625
ENGENDER HEALTH - 35,741,991 5,441,700
ARC 30,500,000 17,718,750 -
AFFORD - 216,245,490 -
HCP - 63,256,922 -
HIPS - - 154,125,000
SPRING - - 163,288,354
WILD - - 436,574,400
Sub Total 1,344,377,881 1,190,957,868 1,753,380,102
WFP – TREE TALK 294,988,800 74,975,000 39,425,453
UNICEF - KARAMOJA 350,648,196 259,288,093 522,068,345
NEMA 13,104,587 - -
IRC 2,600,000 - -
MLK - SCHOLARSHIPS - 5,083,000 5,026,205
UNFPA 31,500,000 69,400,000 17,350,000
FAO – RADIO - - 34,511,001
MVULE - SCHOLARSHIPS 201,730,100 210,234,000 29,000,000
DANIDA – BIRD FLU 92,250,000 - -
DANIDA – FARM TALK - 95,296,880 100,827,038
DANIDA – MDG 3 - - 580,000,000
DFID – MONEY WORLD - 782,686,455 -
HEWLETT/TIDES – S’SHIPS/TREE - 65,949,420 25,091,500
CORDAID - - 76,515,000 82,950,000
CESVI - PADER - - 6,000,000
MAIA – PEP/SGBV - - 32,100,000
SAVE THE CHILDREN – GYC - - 62,380,632
WORLD LEARNING – KYC - - 53,156,300
PATH – CHDC & AOG - - 10,290,500
Sub Total 986,821,683 1,655,911,536 1,643,713,230

Total Funds Received 5,622,990,221 4,975,806,792 7,883,711,770

Department for


is a Ugandan NGO, set up in 1997. It grew out of a
teen newspaper, Straight Talk, which was started
forward to a safer

in 1993. Today it practises Communication

and how to move
what they need
define who they are,

for Social change. Its main focus is

dialogue to help people
critical thinking and

preventing HIV in ADOLescents.

social change: it encourages
practices communication for
to change people. Instead it

STF takes a Family-centred and life cycle

Finally, STF is not “messaging”

approach and follows a sexual health promotion

model. It increasingly works with Parents.
by and are key outlets for STF materials.

Parents who are present and who have a good

CBOs operate at this level and are influenced

relationship with their adolescents are Super-

opinionmakers. Health units, faith groups and

protectors. STF also supports parents to

and sends its papers to MPs, district leaders and other

have their own safer and healthy sexual lives.

context, STF holds community fairs and advocacy meetings
Finally, to have impact on the larger community and political
Respecting the primacy of mother tongue
languages, in 2008 STF worked in 14
languages. STF’s communication channels
are Radio, print and face-to-face.
STF’s is concerned for the well-being of all
adolescents and their families. However, it
is particularly concerned about most-at-
risk adolescents, especially Girls and
adolescents living in conflict.
STF Board of Directors
Board chair: Aggrey Kibenge, Principal Asst Sec., Ministry of Educ. & Sports
Rev Gideon Byamugisha, Christian Aid
Anne Akia Fiedler, Chief of Party, ACE
Dr Frank Kaharuza, Director, Research, CDC/UVRI
Justina Kihika, Freelance Consultant
Oliva Muhumuza, Headteacher, Railway Children’s Primary School
Charles Odere, Advocate, Lex Uganda
Dorothy Oulanyah, HIV specialist/OVC/Prevention, UNICEF
Hon Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, Member of Parliament
Catharine Watson, Executive Director, STF, Ex-oficio C Odere Rev Byamugisha
Aggrey Kibenge A Fiedler F Kaharuza J Kihika O Muhumuza

STF follows an “ecological model,” addressing individuals

in their environment with interventions at all the layers of
influence around the individual. The adolescent is at
the core of the model, under the first arch of the
rainbow, benefitting from youth newspapers,
radio shows and face-to-face work.
At the next layer, STF addresses
parents and teachers: the most
important adults in the lives
of adolescents. For them,
STF produces Parent Talk
radio and Teacher Talk
newspaper. It also
conducts face-
to-face work in
schools and
I n 2008 Straight Talk Foundation
(STF) produced over 8 million
newspapers and 4,000 half-hour
radio shows for adolescents and
adults. It reached over 180,000
young people and parents through

its face-to-face work.

STF’s materials are the main and

often only source of affirming,

values-based and scientifically-
accurate information on HIV, sexuality

and growing up in most Ugandan

STF sends its materials to 18,000

schools, 1,700 health centres and
1,100 churches and mosques, and
1600 CBOs. It also works with 450

STF creates “conversations” to address

the drivers of HIV epidemic and bring
about social change.
Report Design: Michael eB. Kalanzi

In 2008 STF had 63 staff and interns in its head office in Kampala.
However, with teams constantly traveling upcountry, it was never possible
to get them all together. The above photo was taken in December 2008 as
the year wound up. In total STF has 124 staff across Uganda.

Plot 4 Acacia Avenue, Kololo, P.O. Box 22366 Kampala, Uganda, Tel: (256 31) 262030, 262031,
Fax: (256 41) 534858, Email:, Website:,
General Scribd site: Communication for Social Change