Sensitization projects are the main thing that sets the Advanced class apart from the regular YAN class. This year we started the school year with 8 bring and motivated returning YAN graduates who initiated the first ever “Advanced YAN” class! By the middle of the second term we had lost a few students but in the final term a couple of them re-joined.

Henry making his vidual aid for his presentation

Depending on each individual, students either continued resreaching their topic from the previous year or started working on research for another topic. Everyone except for 2 groups were working alone. The students and their research topics are as follows:

David and Balemba: Poverty

Henry: Prostitution

Jean: Corruption

Cardine and Deril (left 2nd term): Nature Conservation

Desmond (left mid 2nd term): Scamming

Shemilove and Deril (rejoined in the 3rd term ): Malaria


Several set backs had altered our original idea and timetable for the goals we had set. But, nevertheless, 2 groups were still successful in presenting what they had learned in a short sensitization to their peers at their school.


Originally, the students had been preparing to do a presentation off campus to another group of youth. Most students looking at other secondary or primary schools while one student, Jean, wanted to sensitize the Ministry of Finance on corruption. They had planned out their sensitization and were all ready to deliver letters when suddenly our intern, Madam Maddy, fell sick. She was the one to bring them to deliver their letters and schedule a time and date of sensitization. I myself was too busy meeting with groups for video editing in addition to making graduation and internship arrangements so we had to settle for giving their sensitization’s on their own school campus.


I spoke with the Principal and she agreed to find a classroom or two which we could present in on the last Thursday before school ended (22nd May). The final week of school was a busy one – even though there were 2 public holidays (Monday and Tuesday) we still managed to get the Advanced YAN students together to prepare for their sensitization. On Wednesday, I came to the school with poster board, markers, colored paper and scissors.


The only students who were able to meet up with me were Henry, David and Balemba. We reviewed a previous lesson going over components of a good sensitization, how to keep your crowd entertained, visual aids, and method of delivery.

David and Balemba with thier finished products ready for their sensitization!

The following morning I waited outside the Administrative Block at BGS Molyko for the 3 students who would be giving their sensitization. I met with the Principal who introduced me to the Form One teacher who be allowing us in his classroom for the sensitization. Soon Balemba arrived followed by Cardine who wasn’t scheduled to give his presentation. Soon 30min passed and the teacher was worried about the time and about the students dispersing if they had nothing occupying them. We decided to go ahead once David arrived just moments after.


Thankfully several regular YAN club students were around so they also came to the presentation which totaled 38 students!! 2 YAN students held the groups visual aids while another 2 were taking photos and videos while they presented their topic. They started out by introducing themselves, YAN and the topic they researched. They they went into detail on what they had learned. First having students give their definition of poverty and then having another read the exact definition from the poster. They talked more about the problem itself, why these problems matter and finally solutions to poverty. The last part was showing the video that they had filmed, edited and produced! All of the students were really impressed!!


At the end, the group took any questions; one bright and witty Form One girl one asked “How will you stop poverty?” Both David and Balemba seemed a bit perplexed despite the fact that they had done research the entire year on the topic… Soon Balemba turned to the poster and began to list off a few solutions they had previously mentioned such as “Open more schools which provide a free education, give scholarships to those living in poverty…” As he read those things, the girl was obviously not impressed and she asked again, “How will you do those things?” I was happy she really poked at these Advanced YAN students to really make them think how they will instigate change. They looked at each other. They looked at me. I said, “Come on guys, how will you make these things happen. What kind of things can you do to influence the government to do these things? How can you advocate for these changes?” Once I said those key words: change, government and advocacy – both of them had a light bulb turn on in their head. They went into a short explanation about how they can continue doing project such as this one (sensitization), they can have workshops, announce on the radio and even start fundraising on their own for scholarships. The student seemed satisfied with this answer and sat down.


Cardine had the opportunity to present after the Poverty but since he didn’t prepare himself mentally or create any visual aids, he opted to arrange another time/day for credit. As I was leaving the school around 10am (the presentations were to begin at 8am but they were delayed), Henry came waltzing into school ready for his presentation.  I had to explain to him that the classroom where we organized the sensitization had already dispersed and there was no one to give a presentation to. I told him I would be back on campus in the afternoon and that he could arrange his own sensitization as long as I was present.


In the end, Henry presented to a group of about 15-17 of his peers while Cardine was unable to get a group together. Henry’s presentation was very well put together and I was impressed with his ability to stay serious throughout the sensitization. As a 14 year old boy speaking to others of the same age about prostitution, sex, and STI’s, it was quite impressive the composure he kept while explaining the disadvantages and problems of prostitution.