Sexuality is about self- image, developing your own identity, gender roles and about learning to express yourself, your wishes and your boundaries (Rutger International)
Sexuality and reproductive health are challenging issues for young people. There are social norms and cultural taboos that suppress adolescent sexuality. We expect our children to “somehow know” these important matters. OrphanCare believes young people need accurate information about sex and sexuality to negotiate sexual relationships fairly, safely and responsibly.
To help fight the rise in unintended pregnancies and baby dumping among girls and young women in Malaysia OrphanCare developed a Reproductive Health Awareness Programme that stays within the government’s mantra of ‘abstinence before marriage’.
Developed with the Malaysian Department of Welfare and the Women and Family Planning Board the programme helps students and young adults to focus on self-image, be more aware of individual roles within their own families and larger society and the risks and consequences of premarital sexual activity.
OrphanCare Reproductive Health Awareness Programme
Our objective is to help youth better understand the risks and consequences of premarital sex and at the same time, empower them with responsibility and knowledge to make wise choices:
- Raise awareness among teens about baby dumping issues, on ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies and how they can avoid sexually transmitted disease (STD).
- Raise awareness that parents need to proactively engage teenage children on issues of sexual health and reproduction including sexual relationships, STD and the consequences of baby dumping.
The programme targets 18-23 year olds and their parents. Activities include:
- Conducting awareness programmes for students and educators at local colleges and in low cost housing communities
- Group activities to encourage better understanding of social issues among teenagers
- Calling for volunteers and then ‘Training the Trainers” to lead this paradigm shift
Respect is key
OrphanCare’s position is that sex education programs should focus on more than sex and sexuality issues. We need to drive home the importance of boys and girls being able to form mutually respectful, healthy relationships. Young people should respect their own bodies and every other body. We teach that having sex is an important decision young people should take only after considering the consequences.
OrphanCare Self Awareness Program outline:
- OrphanCare Introduction
- Know Thyself
- Family Values
We want to address root causes to prevent crises. More knowledge is better than less; so through comprehensive sex education talks, workshops and exhibitions we hope to make young people aware of the dangers of STDs and unintended pregnancies and have everybody else, parents, educators and the public join this mission to constantly engage our children about these sensitive and problematic issues.
Feedback from some of our workshop participants
“This programme is very interesting and can remind me and make me aware. I also got to learn more about OrphanCare”
“I should be more careful with my girlfriend”
"Continue with this program so that young people nowadays are more aware of the responsibilities and dangers of having sex before marriage"
“It would have been better if I had learned in school what I learned today”
Your rights and responsibilities
Everyone has the right to sexual health. It is our responsibility to protect our own sexual health and that of others.
- I have the right to be treated with respect
- I have the right to express my own feelings and thoughts
- I have the right to ask for what I want in a relationship
- I have right to good information on sex and protection from unintended pregnancy and STDs
- I have the right to sexual health and safety in relationships
- I have the right to say ‘no’ to sexual activity until I feel ready
- I must treat others with respect
- I must respect other people’s feelings and thought, even if they are different from mine
- I must say clearly what I want and what I don’t want
- I must use information wisely
- I am responsible for keeping myself and my partner healthy and safe
- I should say ‘no’ to sexual activity I don’t want