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Step Up, Link Up, Speak Up: Mentoring Tool and Facilitation Guide


It is estimated that five million young people aged 15–24 and two million adolescents aged 10–19 are living with HIV. Yet, young people most affected by HIVincluding those living with HIV, young people who sell sex, young men who have sex with men, young transgender people and young people who use drugstypically, are unable to access and utilise comprehensive health services that meet both their HIV prevention and treatment needs as well as their sexual and reproductive health needs.

In addition, young people affected by HIV are often not welcome to participate in policy and program design and implementation, or do not feel comfortable doing so because of structural and cultural factors (such as stigma, taboo and discrimination based on age, gender, HIV status and sexual orientation) or because of perceived lack of knowledge, expertise, skills or abilities.

This tool was developed to provide support, guidance and real-life experience to young people interested in developing their advocacy skills through mentoring (as a mentor–mentee pair or as a larger group establishing a mentoring program). The tool is designed to be used by youth advocates interested in mentoring, whether they are new to advocacy and interested in developing their skills, or they are experienced in advocacy and want to share their skills and experiences with others by becoming a mentor.

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The tool can also be used to assist in training for a mentoring program to build background knowledge, skills, and capacity for participants and facilitators. The tool can also be used by organisations developing a mentoring program, or alone for anyone interested in mentoring for advocacy. Think of it as a resource of best practices in mentoring, to guide you through the building blocks of creating a strong, informed mentoring relationship that is mutually beneficial for mentors and mentees. It includes key concepts, important points to consider, sample activity pages, and probing questions that address different perspectives on issues and inspire further thought.

The Step Up, Link Up, Speak Up mentoring tool and workshop facilitation guide form part of a range of strategies trialed and embedded during the course of the Link Up project to model a good practice package of meaningful youth engagement. The mentoring programdeveloped and piloted with Link Up country partners in Uganda and Myanmaraims to build the confidence of young people to participate in the processes and decision making spaces that most affect their lives, and to help identify and expand the knowledge, leadership skills, and abilities that they feel they need in order to meaningfully participate and advocate for their priorities.

PHI's Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) is an implementing partner of Link Up, an ambitious, five country project that aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of more than one million young people living with and affected by HIV. GYCA elevates the voices of young people who are living with an affected by HIV as they call for full access to HIV information, prevention tools, treatment, and support, and their full sexual and reproductive health and rights.