They say that education is the key to success.
Learn to read, write, finish high school, maybe go to college, and then get a good job to support yourself and maybe a family.
But what happens when a young girl, shooting for the future that an education can give her, gets pregnant? Or she, or her partner, contract a sexually transmitted disease?
These are the few sex related incidents that we are trying to combat at my school, with the help of my friend Lea (a gym teacher), a few health/science teachers, the school Principle, and loads of willing student participants, by starting up a sexual health and wellness club with the public and private high schools.
Lea brought the idea of starting a Youth Club to me after we attended a Let Girls Learn training last year. However, we were unable to get the club started until this year.
During our first club meeting Lea had the students write out what they believed to be the reasons that, “…girls are unable to finish school.” The responses for the students was both enlightening and saddening.
After this initial info meeting, Lea and I read up on the students responses to see if there was anything we knew we could address in sessions about safe sex.
From there we decided that it would great to mix some friendly competition with out Sex Ed sessions, in order to entice the students.
On a sunny Saturday morning over 100 students (between two schools) showed up for our first club meeting!
We started off by having 75 meter races for boys and girls, then took a break to do a brief overview of the menstrual cycle, then go in depth about the male and female condom. The session was led by two science teachers, one from my school and one from the private school that also attended.
After the sex ed session we held a distance race before closing out the morning.
The second club meeting took place at the private school, as the public school is currently on strike. There we once again focused on contraceptives, but with a special focus on why people don’t use them and what to do when your partner doesn’t want to use a condom.
Next trimester (which starts mid-January) we will be continuing with the club, and will hopefully be going in depth about the menstural cycle and making reusable pads!