Minors’ Engagement in Health-Based Programs: Insights From UNICEF Lesotho’s HIV-Nutrition Intervention


This paper explores strategies to enhance minors' understanding of program participation, ensuring their active involvement from the program's inception through its completion, emphasizing the crucial role of sustainability for long-term change. Drawing insights from UNICEF Lesotho's three-year HIV-nutrition intervention (2019-2022) that spanned all 10 districts and 69 community councils, the project championed the health and nutrition of women and children, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS. This paper critically analyses minors' engagement, participation, and decision-making, highlighting both challenges and opportunities for active youth involvement in health-based initiatives. Included in the analysis, we will delve into the specifics of applying gender lenses and fostering inclusion, providing an in-depth examination of these crucial elements to ensure complete, transparent, and equitable participation. Results indicate that children often display passive to non-participation in several phases of the project cycle. While they are participants in the intervention, and they were consulted for their experiences and perspectives, their involvement did not include other key components of the program, neither did they have any active role in decision making. Another striking observation is the frequent absence of genuine inclusion, and while gender lenses are sometimes applied, it's predominantly limited to data disaggregation, rather than a comprehensive gender and inclusion analysis. By synthesizing these findings, lessons learned, this paper aims to offer robust recommendations, guiding program designers towards more inclusive, gender-sensitive, and child-centric educational experiences. We call stakeholders to engage and collaboratively pave the way for enhanced program participation and completion by our young learners.

Author Information
Sonia Mairos Ferreira, UNICEF Lesotho Country Office, Lesotho
Kimanzi Muthengi, UNICEF Lesotho Country Office, Lesotho

Paper Information
Conference: IICAH2024
Stream: Other Humanities

This paper is part of the IICAH2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Ferreira S., & Muthengi K. (2024) Minors’ Engagement in Health-Based Programs: Insights From UNICEF Lesotho’s HIV-Nutrition Intervention ISSN: 2432-4604 – The IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities – Hawaii 2024 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4604.2024.35
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4604.2024.35

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon