Health Education: Nia Teen and Nia yetu
In Kenya, there is no formalized mandated reproductive health education curriculum to give girls the answers they seek about their changing bodies. We’re working to change that by creating fun, aspirational transformative media to unlock a universe of support for girls.
Our referable health magazine, Nia Teen celebrates real girls, highlights their heroes, and includes an innovative comic that walks alongside girls as they go through the joys and challenges of growing up.
We create innovative rights-based menstrual and reproductive health and rights education (MRHE) in the form of a referable health magazine called Nia Teen, designed for behavior change, and to improve the health and agency of adolescent girls living in the deepest pockets of economic and informational poverty, as well as Nia Yetu (or “Our Purpose”) a corresponding 24-session facilitated health education curriculum adapted from the Adolescent Reproductive Health and Life Skills Curriculum, Tuko Pamoja.
Nia Teen magazine is a comprehensive health magazine created by ZanaAfrica for Kenyan girls. Rooted in our database of over 10,000 real questions collected from 1,000 girls through our programs, each issue is designed and tested for measurable knowledge retention and behavior change. Our magazine provides the information, guidance and affirmation girls seek and need to navigate puberty in a way that is referable and user-tested for behavior change and health outcomes. They are a physical resource that girls own and can read in private, share with others and refer back to over time.
Topics include menstrual and reproductive health education through a rights-based lens, alongside activities, to foster self-efficacy, and to support girls to safely and confidently navigate adolescence and stay in school. An embedded comic within the magazine demonstrates healthy decision-making and has an accompanying discussion guide.
Nia Teen is designed for scalability at low cost and minimal reliance on facilitators, and is being piloted alongside sanitary pads as part of a randomized controlled trial launched in 2017 and conducted by The Population Council with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This study, called The Nia Project, is the first study conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa to rigorously measure the individual and combined effects of sanitary pads and reproductive health education on girls' educational, social, and health outcomes.
The results of this trial will be published in 2019. Evidence gleaned from The Nia Project will lay the foundation for future action and study on menstrual health management and school-based reproductive health and rights education, with global implications for "what works" in women's and girls' empowerment.