- WHO IS LUCKMORE?
Luckmore is a passionate youth advocate, professionally trained HIV Counsellor, Community Adolescent Treatment Supporter (Africaid Zvandiri), Deputy National Facilitator-Northern Region (YPNSRHHA), National representative of YPLHIV (NYPNSRHHA). Youth Policies Tracking Group Member (Zimbabwe Youth Council), Social Work student (University of Zimbabwe). He has shown great leadership skills in the Network at District, Provincial and National level. His innovative ideas pertaining to mobilizing young people are unparalleled. As an example, to spearhead social behavior change transformation, he utilized popular movies like Black Panther the Oscar award winning film as an incentive for young people in his community to watch and get entertained.
- WHAT WAS YOUR MAIN DRIVE TO BE AN SRHR ADVOCATE?
Young People in Mt Darwin District have been facing a lot of SRHR and HIV challenges and these include lack of access to information on SRHR and HIV, HIV stigma and discrimination, gender based violence, child marriages, teenage pregnancies, lack of access to SRHR services including family planning. Luckmore engaged in a lot of activities for young people in his community and eventually formed an integrated youth club for boys to challenge traditional gender roles and attitudes about masculinity whilst mobilizing them to promote gender equality and taking a stand against gender based violence.
- WHAT ACTIVITIES DID YOU CARRYOUT DURING THIS COVID19 LOCKDOWN?
During the period of Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown a lot of SRHR challenges were realized which include but not limited to access to health care in particular SRHR, HIV, SGBV prevention, psychosocial support and mental health due to mobility restrictions and closure of some health facilities in young people localities where they usually access these services in normal times. My colleagues and I were vigorously engaged targeted adolescents and youths in rural communities on youth sensitization on prevention strategies for Covid-19, transmission of STIs including HIV and unwanted pregnancies. Distribution of SRHR commodities (condoms) to Sexually Active Youths , ART Adherence Support and Monitoring, Provision of Psychosocial support and Mental health to YPLHIV were also our other activities.
- WHAT TECHNOLOGIES DID YOU EMBRACE TO REACH OUT THE YOUTH DURING THE LOCKDOWN?
I also launched a podcast known as Youth Health Matters with the aim of promoting SRHR in Zimbabwe through information dissemination, advocacy and youth led accountability. Click on the link below to listen to one of the episodes on termination of pregnancy act https://ypnzim.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/youth-health-matters.mp4. We also launched a social media campaign known as #IAmStillStanding for young people living with HIV aimed at sustaining health gains promoting ART Aadherence, HIV disclosure and positive living, and also fighting HIV stigma.
- WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE CLOSING REMARKS?
In all these activities, we never received any support in terms of funding from any organization, I used personal resources. Given the right opportunities and there is potential to develop into one of the finest SRHR young advocates and activists Zimbabwe has to offer. Young people are impressive when you give them room to express themselves. There is need for meaningful youth participation in SRHR and HIV/ AIDS capacitations and Treatment And Prevention interventions. Anything for the youth without the youth is not for the youth. Sustainability , efficiency and effectiveness is achieved through meaningful engagement of the youth.
STORY BY TENDAI ABISHA SAUTA 28-09-2020 (0772761139)