Behaviour change communication (which includes peer education and interpersonal communication) have a crucial role to play in STI / HIV control, because access to information, health education, knowledge and skills are essential for STI/HIV control. This training manual describes ways in which NGOs may design, deliver and manage training programmes for peer educators in specific and how to run an effective peer-education component in general. Its purpose is to assist Alliance AP partner NGOs to design and implement strategies and work-plans for peer education, as part of comprehensive sexual health interventions. This training manual is ideal for use in groups of 15-20 participants. In organizing any training we have to consider the following: ; Who are the participants? ; Why are we organizing the programme? Define specific training objectives ; What are the role that they will be playing after they obtain the training? ; What are the knowledge, skill and attitude requirement to play the role.- Training need assessment ; Who will be the people who will deliver the training? ; Where will the training be delivered? ; Is the training residential? This will decide the methodology to be used for the training. The session can be started in several ways. There is no fixed rule. Sometimes, it can be done with a game, which is great to get people laughing and relaxed. At other times, it can be through relevant exercises. For example, to start a discussion on sexual behaviour, one can begin by asking the group to draw a picture of the male and female reproductive organs. The next step is to name the body parts in non-scientific language. This gets everyone involved and discussing. Whatever topic the session is on, it should include everyone and be simple enough to understand. Just remember that people learn best by doing. Every session should be a combination of listening, speaking, seeing and doing. Ensure that the trainees are comfortable in doing the activities that are asked of them. Facilitating and enabling maximum participation by the group members is the prime responsibility of the trainer. This is possible with the use of various tools, such as small group discussions, games, role-plays, case studies and a host of others. It is always useful to divide people into small groups, as this increases interaction between people and encourages shy people to contribute. Peer education trainers need the skills that will bring out the views and concerns of the participants. It is important to realize that the trainer's role is to give information, and let young people make their own decisions based on facts. The trainer should always avoid being directive and authoritarian. Make sure participants know that there will be no report of the session made. Ask them to try not to discuss the opinions of particular individuals outside of the group, but warn them that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. The discussion should be conducted in a manner that is not personalized and specific. If possible, give out information about where individuals, who want to discuss a personal situation, can get confidential advice. At the end of the training, do not forget to ask them to fill out the evaluation forms you have prepared. It makes the work much easier the next time around. Remember that the basic values of participation require you to adhere to the following: ; Avoid dominating behaviours. ; Allow the participants to share and learn. ; Deal with bias, start from where the participants are. ; Respect diversity. ; Start at a convenient time for the participants. ; Undertake sessions in a place that is convenient for the participants and follow a process. ; Focus on cumulative learning by all the participants. ; Seek out diversity - everyone is different and important. ; Emphasize the group learning processes. ; Use approaches that are flexible and adaptable to suit each new set of conditions and participants. ; Use participatory processes because they lead to discussion. Often, debate concerning change leads to a change in perceptions, and helps people contemplate action that can lead to changes in attitudes and behaviour. Key characteristics of an effective facilitator are: ; A warm personality, with an ability to show the trainees approval and acceptance. ; Good social skills, including an ability to bring a group together and maintain control without causing adverse affects. ; A manner that encourages the participants to share their ideas and skills. ; Strong organization skills that maximize the use of resources. ; The skill to identify and subsequently resolve participants' problems. ; Enthusiasm for the subject and the capacity to present it in an interesting way. ; Flexibility in response to the changing needs of the participants. ; Knowledge of the subject matter. ; Summarizing sessions and consolidating learning for the participants The development of a peer educator involves the application of various methods such as counselling, training, personal orientation, exposure visits, improving social contacts, participatory planning and assessment.
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