Increasing children’s and young people’s knowledge on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is seen as a critical component in reducing a large number of challenges in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA), including HIV and AIDS, teenage marriage, and teenage pregnancy in particular. While access to education remains a challenge for many children in the region, the provision of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in school settings is considered an effective way to educate children and young people on SRHR. Between January 2013 and December 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) implemented a regional project to support the scale up of CSE across ESA. The project was funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and had a total regional budget of SEK 49,800,000. The overall project objective intended to increase children and young people’s knowledge on SRHR through access to high quality CSE that is gender-transformative, evidence-informed, and age and culturally-appropriate. Specifically, the project intended to achieve five objectives, namely to: 1. Secure high level commitment to improving comprehensive knowledge on SRH through sexuality and HIV prevention education; 2. Increase capacity of key players in the education sector to plan, manage, and monitor CSE at all levels of the school system; 3. Strengthen the quality of CSE curricula to ensure that they are gender-transformative, evidence-informed, and age- and culturally-appropriate; 4. Strengthen the implementation of CSE curricula through the development of a confident, well-trained training workforce; 5. Improve community engagement in young people’s access to CSE and services. The project was implemented in 17 countries nd aimed to reach 35,000 schools, 74,000 teachers, and 15 million learners across the ESA region.
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