The GET ON BOARD WITH CAMPUS LIFE is an annual vent that is implemented by the PeerLink Initiative Uganda in partnership with the Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF). This activity targets first year students (freshers) from various tertiary institutions of learning in a series of discussions and dialogues to brainstorm and share information on the academic, social, economic, political and health related challenges they face, how they affect them and share information on how they can address their challenges.
Transition from high school to tertiary institutions all over the world provides students the opportunity to define and advance careers opportunities and learn to take responsibility in preparation for adult roles. Depending on their home environment and setting, the physical and social environment is new, overwhelming and intimidating to some students.
Most Students joining these high institutions of learning have unexplained fears and expectations about the new life and environment that is full of new people, different study schedule among others.
Some students are coming from restricted secondary school environments without adequate preparation on how to handle the new free life in a new setting. Hence, a number of students get confused and others are frustrated.
Although some students celebrate this transition from high school to higher education, to some it’s a different story normally due to fear lack of orientation and inadequate guidance.
Get on board with campus life therefore is aimed at providing opportunity for first year students from various higher institutions of learning to come together to brainstorm on common issues, share experiences and socialize with peers.
Sunday 5th October 2014, PEER LINK INNIATIVE in Conjunction with the UGANDA YOUTH AND ADOLESCENTS HEALTH FORUM will hold the second annual GET ON BOARD WITH CAMPUS LIFE dialogue at PeerLink Initiative Uganda Coordination Office offices along Bukoto –Kisaasi road. This dialogue will attract 80 students from Makerere University, Kyambogo, Uganda Christian University Mukono, Makerere University Business School, Uganda Technology and Management University. GET ON BOARD WITH CAMPUS LIFE will also aim at providing Sexual Reproductive Health (SRHR) education/ information and services. We plan to take the students through a holistic one day orientation to campus life.
• To Identify transitional challenges encountered by first year students
• To provide an opportunity for tertiary institution fresh students to network and strengthen linkage with fellow peers.
• To provide Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) education and create awareness of the availability of youth friendly services centers where students can seek care.
• To guide students on how to cope and adapt to life at campus.
• To orient students on the rationale for integration te ICT in their day to day activities and learning process.
We will hold a brainstorming session where students will be tasked to brainstorm their expectations at campus and expectations of the day. Each student will be given a chance to give their expectations.
We intend to hold an interactive dialogue session where students will be split and grouped in different groups to discuss transitional challenges faced how these challenges affect them and the possible support they need to overcome these challenges. Each group will be allocated 15 minutes to gather points which they will thereafter present to the rest of the members at a given time.
We also intend to have inspirational talks on key aspects of life that include the social aspect, spirituality, ICT integration, entrepreneurship and health among others. The sessions will be facilitated by continuing students who will share their real life experience. Other identified inspiration speakers will address other issues.
Furthermore, to address SRHR issues faced by university students, we will invite a sexual reproductive health specialist to address key SRHR issue affecting university students and provide information on where to find the free SRHR youth friendly services.
Lastly we will provide the students with a referral directory highlighting key areas/places to find youth friendly services such as guidance and counseling (academic, Social relationships, emotional and psychological problems, health etc), leisure and recreation centers (sports and games, leisure parks, public libraries, night clubs, cinemas, shopping malls among others)
A follow-up strategy will be put in place to ensure that students continue to interact and build on the social network throughout their life at their respective institutions. Youth fellowships will be formed at the respective institutions (Makerere, MUBS, Kyambogo, UCU, UTAMU) where students will constantly meet on a given day and time and share quality time with other peers. Activities like exchange programmes and visits will also be conducted among the youth fellowships in order to sustain and build the social network among students. PELI-U intends to periodically visit and monitor these youth fellowships throughout the year.
We also intend to keep our facebook group page (GET ON BOARD WITH CAMPUS LIFE) updated and filled with educative information and quotations. With the introduction of ICT in our programmes, students will share their experiences, academic work, start blogs about campus life, create videos for learning, etc.
The Get on Board with Campus Life dialogue sessions will be sustained through active involvement of the alumni who will play a great role in mobilizing the first years of the subsequent years. The Get on Board Youth Fellowships will also serve as a platform through the first year students will continue to deliberate, share ideas, projects and information.