School children in Nigeria with the Learning about Living eLearning programme.

School children in Nigeria with the Learning about Living eLearning programme.

OWTxtImageBy Butterfly Works

The need

Accurate and non-judgmental information about human sexuality is often unavailable to adolescents in Nigerian society. As a result, tens of millions of young people are more vulnerable than they need to be in a country where the average age of first sexual activity is between thirteen and fourteen years. 

To grow up safe and healthy, young people need to know about sexual and reproductive health. But cultural and religious traditions keep girls and boys from talking about the issues. They are not getting the critical information they need. 

What is Learning about Living Nigeria?

Since 2007, ‘Learning about Living Nigeria' has been addressing these problems in schools and community centres through an eLearning environment based on the national Family Life and HIV/AIDS education curriculum, and through mobile services that allow young people to anonymously text or call trained counsellors. 

The interactive eLearning environment, designed by Butterfly Works, provides young people with a safe route to reliable sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information, circumventing cultural taboos that often preclude discussion of such topics. Over 120,000 young young people have used the eLearning environment in schools and youth centres since the project launched and more than 2,500 teachers from 550 schools in 22 states have been trained to use the software. 

OneWorld's mobile phone and web-based Question-and-Answer service provides young people with anonymous, accurate and non-judgemental information and services from trained counsellors, extending both the reach and the impact of SRH and gender education. Over half a million questions have been received via SMS alone, with the numbers increasing every year. 

In May 2010, the Learning about Living Question-and-Answer service, managed by EVA, was awarded the 'most outstanding youth initiative to combat HIV/AIDS' by the National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. 

Supported by: 

Ten organisations collaborated in this programme. The partnership included OneWorld UK, Butterfly Works Netherlands, ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), Girl’s Power Initiative (GPI), Action Health Incorporated (AHI), Education as a Vaccine (EVA), the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Ministry of Health, and the Nigerian Education Research and Development Council (NERDC).

Funding for the project has been provided by Oxfam Novib, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Butterfly Works Netherlands. The project was conceived and developed by OneWorld and Butterfly Works, and it was managed by OneWorld from 2007-2012. 

The services were handed over to Education as a Vaccine (EVA) and the Nigerian Ministry of Education in 2012 and continue to operate.

Additional resources:

Lessons Learned from the Pilot of Learning about Living Nigeria, 2007-2009

Lessons Learned and Results from the Scale-Up of Learning about Living Nigeria, 2009-2011



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