The Cookie Jar is a social media platform for young Botswana women aged 18-25 years to discuss issues that are most important to them. The issues they have identified and frequently post about on social media include sex, sexuality, gender-based violence (GBV), HIV risks, navigating relationships, access to contraceptives, and access to PrEP. The Cookie Jar is run by young women for young women. Five content managers facilitate discussions on Facebook, and the group has grown to more than 800 members in Botswana.
In August, SCS Botswana (also known as APC 2.0) conducted a series of workshops in Gaborone, Botswana, to advance the project’s work of engaging youth to enhance community-based youth-friendly HIV and related services. Following this, members and staff from the project, Tebelopele Wellness Clinics, and Botswana Gender-Based Violence Centre attended a three-day workshop to learn the fundamentals of video production from pre-production through post-production and promotion, teaching participants to make engaging Facebook images and videos and posting using phones. Three pre-production videos for youth on the use of PrEP were created and are being refined for posting. Additionally, the group developed responses to FAQs on PrEP and GBV. Recognizing a similar opportunity to engage young men on issues of concern, SCS Botswana also brought together a group of young men to co-design the male version of The Cookie Jar, called The Ultimate Bonfire, which will be launched in 2020.