Welcome to the Chalimbana Clinic Youth-friendly Corner, situated in Chongwe District in the province of Lusaka in Zambia.
A Youth-friendly Corner is a safe zone for young people. It is a place where adolescents can access health information concerning their lives, and non-judgmental services relating to reproductive health. It is also a healthy environment for “hanging out” and developing some life skills.
This Youth-friendly Corner serves young people from the surrounding learning institutions including Chalimbana University, the Local Government Training Institute, Chalimbana Primary School, and Mukamambo Secondary School, as well as youth from the surrounding villages.
“I am a person who is frank, open and able to communicate with other people,” is how Vanessa Muntanga, a Grade 12 pupil at Mukamambo Secondary School, describes herself. Vanessa says that one of her greatest pleasures is interacting with new people at her local Youth-friendly Corner and learning about physical, social and emotional changes that the human body undergoes during adolescence.
Meet Eugenia Katania Chakulya, 17 years of age, an eloquent young lady who describes herself as “a leader who loves engaging people in different activities allowing them to do what they need in order to improve society”. She is still in school but helps people by disseminating reproductive health information through handouts from the clinic.
Eugenia is committed to improving the lives of fellow youth in the community by sharing information about early marriages and teen pregnancies. She is passionate about addressing these challenges through promoting activities that teach survival life skills. “These skills will help young people support themselves when they grow up, and present themselves in an assertive manner.”
Both Vanessa and Eugenia have many ideas to enhance the Youth-friendly Corner. Vanessa is planning on introducing more fun activities like drama, drills, and poetry. Eugenia has already initiated a book club, and is full of other ideas, including empowering out of school youths with entrepreneurship training and helping them access capital to start businesses. She is also keen to introduce bursary schemes for vulnerable young people.
All young people in the area are encouraged to come to Chalimbana Clinic Youth-friendly Corner where they can have open, safe and non-judgmental conversations about issues related to their sexual reproductive health, including sexually transmitted diseases and sexual violence. Young people can also access the services of psychosocial counsellors and skilled and compassionate youth facilitators.