Country of Operation
- Population Services International (PSI)Not-for-profit
SummaryCentre Dushishoze (meaning “think about what you’re doing” in the local language) was the first center in Rwanda to provide young people with quality, affordable reproductive health services in an integrated and youth-friendly setting.
Key program components
Located in Butare, Centre Dushishoze was one of the first clinics to use rapid HIV-test technology. It has now become a popular place for youth to spend free time and seek reproductive health information and services in a safe, discreet setting. Five full-time medical professionals provide voluntary testing and counseling for HIV, treatment of STIs, emergency contraception, pregnancy tests, and reproductive health counseling between 8am and 8pm six days a week. The center charges youth a lower fee for services than other health clinics in the area.
Its peer educators collaborate with PSI/Rwanda’s community-based and commercial Prudence Plus condom sales agents to identify and promote youth-friendly condom sellers in rural areas. PSI/Rwanda also transports rural youth to the center for reproductive health services and special events
The Center's education and awareness program has also includes a range of creative media campaigns and interpersonal communication activities to motivate youth to practice safe behaviors. Because more than 90 percent of the 15 to 24 year-olds in this province live in rural areas and few attend secondary school, this site presented an opportunity to test the effectiveness of social marketing techniques for reaching out-of-school and rural youth. The project's main communication channels were posters, pamphlets, radio-broadcasted messages, TV spots and interpersonal communication through Peer Educators. Every young person who visits Centre Dushishoze—even those who come initially to play games or watch movies—participates in motivational health education and risk-assessment exercises led by the peer educators. Basketball, volleyball, ping-pong games, movies, a well equipped library, and special events such as juggling lessons and dance competitions help attract youth to the center. In addition to providing health services, the Center has also added a four month-long skill-building courses in hair styling, embroidery, auto mechanics, and English, which has helped increase the number of female clients seeking reproductive health services.