August 30, 2012
The Board of Trustees of African Childrens Haven is pleased to announce the appointment of Katherine Tate-Bradish as its first associate expert in the field of sex education and HIV prevention.
Tate-Bradish will serve as project leader of a new initiative to train large numbers of African sex educators in rural areas and provide the means to sustain their work through private enterprise.
An American, Tate-Bradish has many years of experience as an educator and advocate for rural women and children. In 2004, she began developing a sex education curriculum that is widely taught in Kenya and has found favor among women and youth groups. The curriculum includes the fabrication of sanitary napkins by local artisans. The scarcity and cost of sanitary napkins in rural areas is a major problem for local women and a significant impediment to girls’ education.
Trained as an attorney and educator, Tate-Bradish developed her curriculum based on information derived from sources that include the International Red Cross and Planned Parenthood. Her credentials include certification from the American Society for Training and Development.
Our sex education curriculum, she says, evolved organically with input from Kenyan teachers, high school students and women’s groups. “I call it The Sexual Health Alphabet: HIV/AIDS, other STDS, and the ABCs,” she says. In sex education circles, the ‘ABC’ concept refers to comprehensive education: Abstain, Be Faithful, use Condoms Correctly and Consistently.
The training takes six days and includes pre-and post-testing on factual understanding, daily assessments, and group and individual practice teaching. Most of the trainees are women farmers. Local church groups, HIV support groups, and women’s organizations also play a role.
Sex education and HIV prevention is a growing part of African Childrens Haven’s (ACH) agenda. ACH finances a variety of education projects for children in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya.
The two-year initiative, which is now being organized by Tate-Bradish in collaboration with ACH and the Vumilia orphan’s home in Western Kenya, will provide proof of concept and seek ways to extend the curriculum to large numbers of rural educators. Vumilia is an ACH member organization that works with women and children affected by HIV/AIDS.
An estimated 50,000 Kenyans have been taught by local educators trained using Tate-Bradish’s curriculum. In addition to scaling up, the project will also develop means to help sex educators sustain themselves financially.