The new ResponsibleMe syllabus is still doing what it excels at – HIV Education and Prevention. However we’ve now incorporated new topics to make it more comprehensive. Our three aims are: Youth Engagement, Youth Empowerment and Youth Entrepreneurship.
There are six key themes within the 10 lesson program: self-image and self-worth; HIV&AIDS; relationships; community, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
The program begins with the topic of self-image and self-worth. This meets our first two aims early on – Youth Engagement and Youth Empowerment. The primary goal of the first two lessons is to make learners aware that this is their space, this is their time to focus on themselves and their future wellbeing. This is why we include topics such as confidence, goal setting, strong work ethics and good health.
There are three lessons on HIV&AIDS following the first theme. We tackle fears, explain the speed of transmission, and how factors such as drugs & alcohol, and lack of contraception can spread the disease. We’ve chosen to highlight other issues – NCDs, STIs and Diabetes. We also include the topic of menstruation. If we can normalize this topic, we can begin to dispel fears and likewise any myths.
The second theme focuses on relationships. ‘Me and My Relationships’, ‘Me and My Friends’ and ‘Me and My Emotions’. The first addition looks at toxic relationships, bullying and how to avoid peer pressure with regard to engaging in inappropriate behaviour. ‘Me and My Friends’, allows learners to reflect on their personal characteristics and how they can better strive to be good friends with each other. ‘Me and My Emotions’ encourages learners to voice their feelings and to open up to friends and families. A key talking point will be about handling anger and giving learners different ways to deal with anger, rather than turning to argumentative or violent behaviour.
The third theme is ‘Me and My Home and My Community’. Wediscuss the social pressures which exist outside of the classroom and encourage learners to talk about their lives at home. We also invite learners to consider how to care for and advance their communities eg cleaning up trash and helping senior citizens.
The next theme is called ‘Me and My Gender’, the aim of which is to dispel gender perceptions and encourage learners to recognise each other as equals, valuing different behaviours, aspirations and needs equally, regardless of gender. Gender violence is a huge problem in SA and it’s a topic which will be raised during this lesson.
The next theme focuses on ‘Me and My Money’. Knowing the value of money. This lesson gives learners the basic knowledge and skills to manage personal finance matters efficiently. This is financial literacy, a catch-all term that generally indicates a familiarity in financial matters. A financially-illiterate person is more likely to fall prey to various scams, payday loans and other predatory lending practices.
The final theme is entitled ‘Me and My Business’ This lesson introduces learners to the act of creating a business whilst building and scaling it to generate a profit. This is entrepreneurship. This can also about initiating social change , creating an innovative product or presenting a new life-changing solution. This is where we ask learners to consider taking their dreams and goals into their own hands and lead it in the direction of their own choice. It’s about building a life on your own terms. No bosses. No restricting schedules. And no one holding you back.
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