The World Starts With Me
Thank you for your interest in The World Starts With Me (WSWM) project.
Frequently asked questions
The advent of the Internet and the information superhighway has
provided a totally new array of opportunities for young people to
be engaged in social interactions with other people or in computer
simulations and games. These may be more life-like than life itself:
virtual life experiences are powerfully compelling and appealing.
The ability to use a computer to expand your modes of learning
is a vital necessity in today's world, whether it is to use the
Internet to link up with other young people around the world or
to grapple with challenging life-like computer-driven simulations.
Computers and other digital information technologies have changed
how we work, communicate, travel, access services and learn. There
is no doubt that the impact of technology on all aspects of everyday
life will continue to grow. Indeed, technology is transforming our
societies because it makes possible what was unimaginable before.
Currently, there is widespread agreement that technology literacy
has become a new basic skill, and therefore a new basic for education.
The World Population Foundation, in collaboration with Butterfly
Works, Schoolnet Uganda, and teachers and young people in Uganda,
has developed a methodology that is aims to improve social competencies
among in-school and out-of-school youth.
The WSWM project offers a unique opportunity for contemporary sex
education. Human rights and a positive approach towards sexuality
are the starting-points in developing technical and social competencies,
such as negotiation skills, contraceptive use and the right to refuse
sex. These competencies are needed for informed decision-making.
The programme is easy to use and can be adapted quickly, based
on user feedback. The safe environment of E-learning and the self-guided,
student-driven learning process facilitates interactive education
on sensitive issues. The uniform, systematic learning process ensures
quality across different sites. Combining text, audio and visual
effects effectively helps to shape knowledge, attitudes and skills
in a process of social learning by modelling.
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WSWM is a sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum. There
are fourteen lessons, whose learning objectives, assignments, warming
ups, presentations, games, tools, guidelines and stories are all
available in a student version and a teacher version. There is a
forum for both students and teachers to exchange tips and an online
presentation section to upload work that has been made in the programme
to the group website.
1: The World Starts With Me
2: Emotional Ups and Downs
3: Is Your Body Changing Too?
4: Friends and Relationships
5: Boys and Girls, Men and Women
6: Fight for your Rights!
7: Sexuality and Love
8: Pregnancy: 4 Girls ánd 4 Boys!
9: Protect Yourself: STIs and HIV/AIDS
10: HIV/AIDS: U have a role 2 play 2
11: Love shouldn't Hurt
12: Your Future, Dreams and Plans
13: My Top Tips peer book
The lessons usually start with a theme-based warming up, followed
by a presentation by Rose and David, the virtual peer educators.
Rose and David are the main sources of knowledge in this curriculum.
The next step is often a game (such as the body change game, the
personality game, the who's responsible game or the safe sex quiz)
which serves to help students internalize information and explore
opinions. The next step and the main part of most lessons is the
assignment. The assignment is always a creative activity. For example,
the students may have to create a storyboard, art work or do a role
play using digital means.
Who is it for?
WSWM has been produced for young people in the age range of 12-19
year in Uganda. It has been designed to be used in secondary schools
and out-of-school facilities such as Telecenters and youth organizations,
in a student-facilitator situation. The programme is youth-friendly.
It is, however, also friendly to teachers, in the sense that teachers
will find all the materials and instructions they need, plus the
assistance of peer educators Rose & David, who introduce detailed
information on sexuality and sexual health. The first version was
made for Ugandan youth and has already been implemented; in 2005,
34 schools will be actively using WSWM. In 2004, WSWM was piloted
in Kenya, to be adjusted for Kenyan youth in 2005.
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Frequently asked questions
Do young people in Uganda have access to computers?
While computer access is currently still scarce, the number of computers
is growing. There are an increasing number of initiatives to help
provide computers to schools and youth centres. This programme is
being implemented through Schoolnet Uganda, who have 52 'online
schools' across Uganda. The computers tend to be basic and there
are four or five students per computer. The programme has been designed
for such a setting. The latest version of the programme allows all
exercises to be done without the computer where necessary.
Aren't there enough AIDS prevention programmes already?
There are many initiatives, tackling the issue of HIV/AIDS from
many angles. Most people agree that prevention is better than cure.
This programme is interesting because it embeds HIV/AIDS prevention
in a wide range of health issues, such as knowing yourself better,
sexuality, teenage pregnancy and sexual abuse, using a rights-based
approach in line with WPF policy. It also incorporates useful job
skills in computer literacy.
Is this programme suitable for young people who are illiterate?
The programme has been developed for students who can read English.
We hope to broaden its reach by developing versions for illiterate
people, in other languages and for younger children.
Are teachers equipped to teach/facilitate this programme?
Teachers of this programme are given a one-week training session
to learn more about sexual and reproductive health and rights and
about using this programme. To facilitate as broad a range of teachers
as possible, teachers need neither be sexual health experts or IT
experts to teach/facilitate this programme as it is very user-friendly
and all necessary contents have been incorporated into the programme.
How do young people participate in this project?
The project was developed in co-operation with teachers, artists,
sexual and reproductive health specialists and young people from
Uganda. The form, content and usefulness of the programme was extensively
tested by students and teachers from three Ugandan schools.
Where did the name come from?
The name was chosen for its implicit emphasis on personal choice
Can this programme be easily adapted to other settings and languages?
In principle, this programme can be adapted to any language or setting.
We first need to look at the target group and adapt the contents
to meet their needs. It is relatively easy to adapt the program
in a technical sense, such as updating the pictures and texts on
Can anyone start using this programme?
Using the programme is not restricted but even encouraged. Teachers
using the programme will receive an advance training session and
will be backed up by sexual and reproductive health experts when
they have questions. Further agreements will be made with a local
youth-friendly, medical and counselling service to assist young
people who come forward with problems the teachers are not equipped
to deal with. If you are interested in using this programme, please
How many people are currently using this programme?
Currently, ten 'Schoolnet Uganda' schools are running this programme
at their schools; in 2005, another 24 schools will implement it.
They are assisted by SRH trainers and students who participated
in the pilot run. In 2004, 'Nairobits' in Kenya piloted the programme
for the Kenyan context. The programme and our approach for reaching
out to a greater number of young people have now been tested and
are in place. The programme does need more funds to back up wider
implementation. In 2005, the WPF is planning to adapt the programme
for Kenya, Indonesia, Thailand and possibly Vietnam.
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If you are a teacher, headmaster, counsellor, health worker or
programme manager and would like to receive information on how to
incorporate WSWM into your own work, we would like to hear from
you. Please send us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org