Engaging out-of-school, low literacy girls in Mozambique through a digital life skills and sexual health resource
Avert is developing a digital life skills app as part of VSO’s Eagle project in Mozambique – Empowering Adolescent Girls to Learn and Earn.
The overall aim of the Yaya (Sister) app is to provide 3,000 low literacy, out-of-school adolescent girls and young women with a user-friendly, self-directed set of action-oriented, knowledge-based resources on life skills, sex and relationships, to ensure they have the knowledge to make informed sexual health and relationship decisions.
The Yaya app has been co-created with continuous engagement of the adolescent girls through ideation, testing, and validation of branding, content, and user interface and experience, to ensure the app is relevant, culturally appropriate, and meets users’ needs.
Yaya provides a flexible, home-based learning solution, in local languages, using low-cost tablets.
VSO’s Eagle project, supported by Global Affairs Canada, works with out-of-school, low literacy adolescent girls and young women to achieve economic independence.
Low literacy girls and young women are economically disadvantaged and have increased vulnerability to HIV and poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Improving their literacy and numeracy capabilities, giving them sexual health knowledge and skills, and supporting economic empowerment can all reduce their HIV risk, support sexual health, and increase their opportunity to be active empowered citizens.
COVID-19, while a challenge to start-up of Eagle, also provided an opportunity and incentive to incorporate a digital component to the programme. VSO contracted Avert to develop a digital life skills app relevant to low literacy communities in lower income contexts. The app supports wider life skills and education components within the Eagle project.
We are delighted to have Avert partner with us on the EAGLE project. They have been able to help us think through how to develop a digital approach to reaching our target girls who would normally not have access to digital projects. Avert have expertise in creating tailored content for specific audiences on HIV and sexual and reproductive health and have ensured that the EAGLE girls have been involved throughout the process to develop a new life skills app with them.
The app is being rolled out to the first cohort of Eagle girls in April/May 2022.
The development and co-creation process has already generated considerable learning about how to include low literacy, digitally naïve communities in digital health developments. Avert is working with VSO to ensure the learning from the project also supports wider internal learning about how digital approaches can support lasting change, even among marginalised groups, and help address issues of longer-term sustainability.
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