“I think sex education doesn’t necessarily encourage kids to have sex. It’s better to have knowledge to protect yourself. You may not use it now but in the future you never know. If teens are not given hands-on trainings and correct information, they may follow false advice from other sources and may end up contracting sexually transmitted diseases or getting pregnant.

UNFPA Thailand Country Office presses priority on youth leadership in demanding their sexual and reproductive health and rights to be protected and their accessibility to such services with special focus on the problem of teenage pregnancy. In 2014, UNFPA has awarded the grants to 15 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

The purpose of these grants is for capacity development activities that will enable the CSOs to function as the supporter of future youth-led initiatives on the prevention of teenage pregnancy and/or the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.

To Love Is To Protect

by Pich Maneewan

7th grader and “sexual-reproductive health communicator of Don Kaew Sub-District

Chiang Mai

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Good Things about Being A Sexual-Reproductive Health Communicator

“Being a sexual-reproductive health communicator is fun. Besides learning about the subject, I’ve picked up new skills as well. Earlier, the project’s staff took me to a workshop where I was trained how to do presentations and speak in front of a lot of people. After repeated practice, I was able to speak to an audience without using a microphone. Public speaking used to make me nervous and tremble, and I ended up making a lot of awkward gestures on the stage. Not anymore! I’ve since loved to volunteer to give presentations at school.

What A Sexual-Reproductive Health Communicator Needs To Know

“At Khon Wai Sai, I learned how to prepare for puberty, how to clean sexual organs, how to wash underwear, how to protect myself from sexual harassment that might come from adults, how to fold panties, and how to fold and dispose a used sanitary pad so that it won’t appear unsightly to others. I’ve already shared these tips with friends. I studied sexual-reproductive health at school as well but what I’ve learned here is more in-depth. The workshop was hands-on, and they let me play with rubber dolls, which made learning fun.

After joining the project for one year, my idea about ‘sex’ changed. I used to be very shy talking about this subject but now I see it as a natural thing – a part of my daily life. That’s because ‘sex’ isn’t limited to physical intimacy but includes health and safety issues like how to maintain the hygiene of your sexual organs or how to protect yourself from all kinds of sexual dangers. I understood now why my mother wanted me to join this project. She’s also one of the volunteers. These days, I can talk with Mom and Dad about sex. We’ve been closer ever since because we can talk with each other about anything and everything.

Spreading Sexual-Reproductive Health Messages through Writings

“When I grow up I want to be a novelist or cartoon writer. If I were to write for elementary students, the book might be about how to maintain the hygiene of your sexual organs. I want to write about this because some little girls don’t like wearing panties, and it makes them prone to contracting germs through their vaginas. And, there are little girls who don’t like wearing a camisole. If their school blouses are made from sheer materials, they won’t look proper without wearing a camisole. If I were to write for high school students, it might be about two young couples. I want to show readers the difference in results between having protected sex and unprotected sex. One couple engaged in protected sex and carried on their studies. Another couple had sex but the guy was not using condoms. In the end, the girl got pregnant and contracted AIDS but the guy didn’t take any responsibility.

It’s Not About Encouraging Teens To Have Sex

“I think sex education doesn’t necessarily encourage kids to have sex. It’s better to have knowledge to protect yourself. You may not use it now but in the future you never know. If teens are not given hands-on trainings and correct information, they may follow false advice from other sources and may end up contracting sexually transmitted diseases or getting pregnant. Personally, I think it’s best not to have sex while you’re a student because no contraceptive device can give 100% protection. It’s better to wait until marriage. It may sound old-fashioned but I think if a man really loves a woman, he can wait. He will not pressure the woman. To me, loves means giving but you shouldn’t give to the point that you’re in trouble. You have to be happy as you give, and don’t have to solve problems afterwards. Above all, you have to love yourself and know how to protect yourself.”

PROJECT: Based in Chiang Mai, Khon Wai Sai seeks to develop and train 20 “sexual-reproductive health communicators of Don Kaew Sub-District” to serve as speakers imparting sexual-reproductive health knowledge to students of grades 5 – 9 in Sarapee District.

Activities:

Communication trainings for 20 teens who were pre-selected to be sexual-reproductive health communicators so that they are able to lead activities in introductory workshops.

In these 4-part workshops, students learn:

1) “What Is ‘Sex’?” to adjust their attitude towards sex so that they regard ‘sex’ as a natural thing and know that it covers more than physical intimacy.
2) What physical and emotional changes to expect during puberty.
3) How to handle these changes e.g. how to use sanitary pads, how to clean sexual organs, how to stop body odor, how to wash underwear, and the like.
4) What constitutes ‘safe sex’ and how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases.

 

 

 

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