The Shining Star Project planned to train 40 peer educators, but in fact, they were able to increase this to 50. Initial training was carried out in February by Shining Star staff and a refresher training was held in November with input from the District AIDs coordinator from the National AIDs council.
The training equipped the girls and women to share sexual health knowledge with 3,005 other girls and women in sex work. This is a great achievement and they have far exceeded their target of 2,800 girls and women reached.
The project director, Emsipa Nare, said: “During the report meetings we have been pleased by the passion that the ladies are showing. Most of the ladies that were timid are now showing some confidence in the way they talk. We noticed that most of the women were encouraging each other to do better in reaching out to others involved in sex work. The peer educators are the pillar of the project as they are a link between the project and the sex worker community. They create a platform to be able to interact with women in sex work and refer them for uptake to other services.”
Through the referrals made by the peer educators:
351 girls and women have been tested for HIV
167 women were provided with access to contraception
83 women were provided with cervical cancer screening
33 women were provided with gender-based violence assistance.