Fort Rixon Secondary School in Zimbabwe provides just one example of how FutureLife-Now! has impacted a school and its community. Through the programme, much has changed for the better at the school. In the words of the school head, Lawrence Sibanda:
The implementation of the FutureLife-Now! programme has helped the school to work harmoniously with partners in improving the health of learners and community members through the services being offered by different partners.
So the school was excited when the FutureLife-Now! team suggested it organise a health services fare. A big responsibility, for sure, but the community leadership, led by the local counsellor, Jostinah Ndondo, mobilised the villagers to assist in the organisation. She set up a working committee comprising representatives from the 12 villages that make up Fort Rixon School’s catchment area.
About 590 learners, teachers and members of the community attended the successful event, allowing them to engage with the health service providers. The jamboree was hosted under the banner, Cultivating generational health, with the overall aim being to raise awareness about the various health services available to young people.
The exhibitors and service providers who showcased their services included the Matabeleland Aids Council, the Organisation of Public Health Intervention and Development, the Population Solutions for Health and the Insiza Rural Health Centre, as well as various Ministries—Health and Child Care; Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation; Lands and Agriculture. They offered services as varied as HIV testing, treatment and adherence support, vision and hearing screening, and immunisations, as well as providing health and nutrition education.
At one of the stands, a district nurse expressed her appreciation for the role FutureLife-Now! has played in changing lives in the schools where it is being implemented.
Since the introduction of FutureLife-Now! a lot has been done to bring youth-friendly health services closer to schools and communities. Sithandokiwe Dube (Nurse)
During the formalities, the guest of honour congratulated the community on hosting the successful service fare, a first for the Fort Rixon community. The representatives of the Insiza District said they had felt honoured to host other schools from the Midlands Province and hoped that such interactions would extend beyond this jamboree and would be cascaded to cross-pollinate ideas among learners, staff and communities of the local schools.
A final word from Counsellor Ndondo:
Hosting of this service fare has helped our learners, community members and teachers to access different services that we normally travel long distances to access. Jostinah Ndondo (Local counsellor)