Urban youth peer educators can be difficult to manage
It may be unrealistic to expect young people who are going through physical, emotional and sexual changes to guide and inform others on such a private, sensitive and often taboo topic. These are youth, as well, and they have their own needs.
Peer educators should be part of a more comprehensive behavior change strategy and need to be properly trained and feel confident to discuss sexual health matters with their peers. A support system should also be in place for referral should the peer or near peer educators be unable to answer specific questions or demands.
Peer educators need to be carefully selected, since their efforts may be rejected if the intended audience does not see them as true “peers.” When selecting peer educators refer to the selection criteria described in national reference documents if these are available. Alternatively, develop clear criteria to guide your selection of peer educators and share this criteria with the educators themselves. Developing a list of expectations for the peer educators and a list of what they can expect from your program can also help.