Partnership for Social Accountability Alliance

Strengthening Social Accountability and Oversight in Health and Agriculture in Southern Africa

SAM4SRHR mentees impact the lives of young people in Simatelele, Zimbabwe

Soneni Nyathi is a mentor within the SAM4SRHR project, implemented by PSA Alliance partner Basilwizi Trust. Here she tells her story in her own words

Soneni Nyathi talking to a group of young people who are within her network at Simatelele Ward, Binga

My name is Soneni Nyathi under Siamuloba Village in Simatelele ward 08.  I am a SAM4SRHR Mentor under the Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) Project being implemented by Basilwizi Trust.  My role in the community is to educate young people about their Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and encouraging them to visit the rural health centre to access their SRH services. I also encourage young people when they are faced with SRHR challenges by giving them advice on what to do to address their problem and improve their well-being. For example, I encourage young people especially girls to seek treatment when raped, to seek for morning after pill when they want to prevent pregnancy and to seek for early antenatal booking when they are pregnant. This year, I assisted one girl who fell pregnant and was not sure what to do. In her mind, she wanted to terminate the pregnancy on another side she wanted the baby as she felt that it was evil to kill the baby but she was afraid to face her parents and inform them about her situation.

When this girl approached me, she told me that she missed her menstrual period for 3 months from October 2022 up to January 2023. I discussed with the girls the signs and symptoms of pregnancy and she confirmed that those signs were exactly what she was experiencing. I also discussed with the girl the implications of illegal abortion after counselling the girl, she opted to keep the pregnancy. She requested me to help her inform her mother about the issue.  I approached a mature village health worker (VHW), whom covers our area, to assist with explaining the situation to the girl’s mother.  After several engagements with the girl’s mother, with the VHW support, the mother eventually came to terms with the situation and committed to supporting her daughter including explaining to the girl’s father.  As the girl was still doing form 3 at Manjolo High School, both the mother and the girl were informed about reintegration back to school after delivery which they both embraced.  I advised the girl and her mother on the importance of early booking and the VHW was going to follow up and make sure the girl was booked at the nearest health facility for antenatal care.

The PSA project has really changed my interaction with other young people in the ward. I really appreciate it.