Sharing experiences: The peer-to-peer university-based RH program in Upper Egypt

Sharing experiences: The peer-to-peer university-based RH

program in Upper Egypt

S. Hussein, N. Samir, M. Afifi

Pathfinder International,

Cairo, Egypt

Global best practices suggest that using peer educators is more

effective in addressing sensitive issues that require horizontal counseling

rather than vertical.

The TAHSEEN Project worked with religious leaders, medical

doctors, youth & parents to develop seven booklets addressing various topics

like puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, marital relations & fertility. These

booklets were used as training manuals for university students participating in

the peer-to-peer (P2P) program. The program takes place in universities aiming

at producing a cadre of peer educators capable of providing their peers with

non-judgmental culturally relevant health information & promotes healthy

behavior changes on an individual basis or through special events.


participating in the 3-day peer educator development workshop, the post-training

test results reflected a significant increase in knowledge & average scores

increased from 19% to 90%. Evidence to date shows that graduates of the P2P

program have in some cases successfully managed to change some faulty behaviours

as one of the peer educators reported that “I managed to convince my

parents not to circumcise my sister”

Before joining the program, a 17 year

female old peer educator thought menstrual blood was “rotten,” pain

medication to fight cramps caused infertility, & had never heard of condom.

Today, she shares her newfound knowledge about reproductive health with her

friends, sisters, cousins & even her mother. She also stated that “Ninety-five

percent of our information was wrong. Because of our customs & traditions we

were embarrassed to talk, but I have learned to break the wall of shyness. Now I

know that these are not things that contradict our religion. TAHSEEN will

deliver a message through the generations.”

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