Learning about Living comprises an e-learning tool created in 2007 that forms part of the Nigerian Family Life and HIV/AIDS Education (FLHE) school curriculum. ‘eFLHE’ developed by Butterfly Works, dissolves traditional boundaries by providing young people with a route to reliable sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information, negating much of the stigma associated with asking adults or the risks of receiving inaccurate information from peers. Digital ‘peer educators’ in the form of animated cartoon characters provide an emotionally safe route to accurate information for both teachers and students, enabling issues of SRH to be explored in a virtual space that is free from traditional social pressures.
Learning about Living is being piloted in three locations across Nigeria: Lagos, Cross Rivers State and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, and includes two information and advice services. These have been designed in such a way that even the shyest of teenagers can pose questions and receive answers, as they do not even have to say the question out loud.
Through MyQuestion, adolescents submit their questions by text messages, online or through a telephone hotline. The questions are then answered by trained counsellors from the Nigerian NGO Education as a Vaccine Against AIDS (EVA). Such is the need for this kind of service that more than 2,500 questions were received within the first five days.
The second service, MyAnswer, gives young people the chance to win prizes by correctly answering a monthly question. Young people enter the competitions by texting their answer or going online and ten winners are picked and given airtime. The competition opened on December 1, 2007 World Aids Day - with the question What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
The highly interactive e-learning tool is used in and out of schools and will be available on school laptops from One Laptop Per Child and Intels Classmate PC project. It was developed by Butterfly Works from the Netherlands in collaboration with Action Health Incorporated with support from the Nigeria Education and Research Development Council (NERDC).