400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand

by COMMUNITY CHILDREN FOUNDATION UNDER THE ROYAL PATRONAGE OF HRH PRINCESS MAHA CHAKRI SIRINDHORN
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand
400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand

Miss Manthakan Thumthong, a student leader of Sexuality Education Program at Yoongthong School, Udon Thani Province and a President of Teen Clinic has already conducted activities for more than 3 years. She shares her experience as a student leader who gets up to fight with teenage pregnancy problems.

“Before, I thought that it was difficult to talk about sex. I was too shy to talk about it as well as to ask teachers. When I had problems, I was afraid to consult with someone. In addition, if my friends had any problems, I was not confident to give them an advice. Until I studied in grade 10, I had a chance to attend a combat teen pregnancy workshop, which made me understand more about sexual and reproductive health and teen pregnancy prevention.

At the workshop, my friends shared me their knowledge, which made me feel more confident. If I did not understand anything, I could also ask the trainers. Also, my friends who did not attend the sexuality workshop that supported me to become the student leader started to consult with me about how to prevent pregnancy, how to use emergency pills, contraceptive pills, and condoms. After the workshop, the student leader group organized activities in their school, such as stations about sexuality knowledge, intercourse prevention, sexual abuse prevention, a correct way to use condoms, and sexual transmitted diseases. My friends and I were trainers at each station. I am happy that my friends accepted me and asked for my advice. Sometimes I felt stressful together with my friends.One of my friends got pregnant and she would like to quit the school. I gave her my advice and encouraged her to continue her study. I also consulted with teachers to help my friend to complete her school since it was closer to a final exam. Finally, my friend could continue her education and when it was close to her giving birth due date, the teacher allowed her to do an examination at home.

The most important thing I can do is that I can provide advice to my friends and junior members who face with problems to find right solutions. I will tell my friends who come to consult with me that if they can avoid having sex while studying, it would be great because we are not ready to have families. If not or it's emergency, they must be able to protect themselves. They must use condoms every time when they have sex. For me, I always tell myself that I will take care of myself to be safe before giving suggestions to others.”

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               Last October 2017, Chanchira participated in a training program to Combat Teen Pregnancy Program for parents with other four parents. After completed the course, it made them understand more of how to communicate with children about sex, which is neither a prohibited thing nor a dirty subject that needs to cover up. It is necessary that parents talk to their children in a nice way. They should not blame their children or use dirty words. It is a natural thing. Parents should teach children to protect themselves, avoid risk behaviors leading to a sexual intercourse as well as how to anticipate unsafe situations, which nowadays, we can see news about people with bad behaviors every day, especially rape and kill. Even people who love each other also kill each other. Therefore, it is necessary to talk to children to help them understand. There is no need to wait until they grow up. Actually, a sex subject can be discussed whenever they are ready or ask, and then you can tell them with simple explanation.

               "If adults only think that teaching how to prevent pregnancy is like encouraging them to have sex, we will see many more abortions or many old folks raising their grandchildren everywhere. It is better to educate children rather than letting them find their own ways. At least, we know that they are aware of their own paths. We cannot be with them all the time or forever. If our kids or children in the village run into the problem, they can manage to resolve by themselves. If they want to have sex, they should be warned of the consequences that follow. Whether it is pregnant, disease, education problems, if they are not ready, they can make the right decision. When the student leaders engage in the activity, we Parental network leaders also talk to the parents in order to ensure that everyone understand both sides of the issue. Some parents had some difficulties understanding that and did not want to hear about it, but we try to talk about it in service zone meetings. At least, when they have problems, they can easily talk to us. We do not want to see children leaving their schools from being pregnant. We do not want to see children without any parents. We do not want to see elderly people who should be resting being burdened with the task of raising babies.”

               “The parents have currently started to understand how to talk to their children about sex. Some parents have noticed that their children might have already had sexual intercourses, and consulted with us about it since they did not know what to do. We told them to talk with their children, tell their children to protect themselves, and to realize problems that might occur in the future. It is probably hard to stop them because the parents will not be with them all the time. Some students went to school in the morning, but they did not stay there. When the school finished, they might have taken a ride with their friends. They might have sex in a sudden if they are in out-of-sight areas.” Chanchira, a Parental Network Leader talked about the ideas behind conducting the Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy Program together with student leaders at Ueat Yai Pittaya School.

               After this training, the knowledge was shared to parents in service areas, communities making merits in temples, and students in schools in the morning and after schools. Some 200 families and about 300 children in 8 communities have learned from this program. There are 5 provinces participating in this program, which are Ubon Ratchathani, Buriram, Mukdahan, Loei and Phayao.

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Knowing Sexuality Wisely Training
Knowing Sexuality Wisely Training

Ban Nonsawang School (Educational Opportunity Expansion Schools) is located in Ubon Ratchathani Province. It's one of eight schools which joined the fighting against teenage pregnancy project supported by CCF Ubon Ratchathani during 2015 - 2017. The school led by the School Director, Ms. Saisamorn, implemented the activities called "knowing sexuality wisely" in three dimensions, including building the capacity of student leaders, supporting the school teachers, and promoting the school to be the good practice for preventing and responding to the teenage pregnancy in schools. Ms. Saisamorn said that "Ban Nonsawang School joined the fighting against teenage pregnancy project since 2015. The school was supported by CCF Ubon Ratchathani. The project was able to promote an awareness of the teenage pregnancy in the school. In each year, there was at least one student left the school because they were pregnant or they got marriage. In order to prevent and respond to the problem, the school organized at least one or two trainings each year by an external trainer to students. In 2016, the school found that the result from the evaluation from CCF Ubon Ratchathani led the school to develop its own mechanism to prevent and respond the sexual problems for students and to ensure that the implementation would be more effective and sustainable. The project implementation touched three dimensions, including; Capacity Building for Student Leaders. The project built the capacity of student leaders so they could pass on sexual knowledge to other students in the school through a shadow play. The play divided a content based on an age of the audience and followed by a question and answer session which students could raise the questions about the play. The play also encouraged students to apply the knowledge in their daily life. The school successfully built three generations of student leaders. Some graduated students also returned to train the shadow play to the younger generation, making the taboo sexual issue to be fun for students' learning. Supporting the School Teachers. The in-charge teachers and all the teachers in the school joined the project activities by providing an advice to students during the activity designing and in other related issues. The school guidance system was established and allowed the teachers to visit and meet with students' parent as well as understand the living condition of each student. Once the students faced the problem, it's easier for the teachers to understand and quickly find the solution for them. Promoting the school. The project created a connection between the school, teachers, parent, community leaders and Sub-District Health Promoting Hospital. The collaboration was able to prevent and respond to the students' sexual problems, which were deemed to be cultural sensitive. The school also educated the students' parent. In each semester, the meeting will be held for the parent from each grade, emphases on the students' behaviors and the role of parent to support the students to study and be responsible as well as advise the parent to observe their behaviors and how to communicate the sexual issue with their children, especially from the opposite sex. Ms. Saisamorn said that "Since the school implemented the sexual education activity by engaging the school and the community, it allowed students and parents to understand a sexual wellbeing and how to communicate about the sexual problem within the family. During the past two years, the school did not find any case of teenage pregnancy, making it to believe that the solution is on the right track and starts to have a hope that children and teenagers in the community will be protected and will have a better future." The journey of knowing sexuality wisely project of Ban Nonsawang School in Ubon Ratchathani Province is one of the approaches to support the school to effectively and sustainably prevent and respond to the teenage pregnancy. CCF would like to thank for all the donors for the support and allow CCF to mobilize the project sustainably. For more information of the project, please CCF's website.

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Learning to protect ourselves from sexual abuse
Learning to protect ourselves from sexual abuse

CCF has organized the project “400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand” for two years now from March 2016 to February 2018. The objective of this project is to build the capacity of Youth Leaders to help mobilize reducing teen pregnancy. The project covers five provinces, which include Ubonratchathani, Mukdaharn, Loei, Buriram and Payao. These five provinces have shown a continuous increasing rate in teen pregnancy between 2000 and 2012. This is mainly caused by the lack of knowledge, lack of understanding of reproductive health and lack of life skill. Besides, the advance in technology has allowed teenagers to access all types of media without border.

         The methodology of this project emphasizes on building a participatory approach with schools in selecting students who possess leadership skills to attend the Youth Camp training. The Youth Leaders were trained to understand sexual health, build communication skills in order to convey the message about the sexual health and to produce media to help create awareness in their schools. After the training, they would have planned a campaign to share the knowledge to other children and youths in their schools and communities with the guidance from the responsible teacher and CCF staff.

          During the two-year project period, the participants from 33 schools participated. 657 Youth Leaders have attended the training. They have conducted 4 – 6 times per year a campaign on understanding the sexual health in order to convey the proper message to their peers in the schools and communities. 10,659 children and youths and 8,658 parents attended the training. Different media from five provinces such as an exhibition board, wall newspapers, the voice over the wire and other campaigns have been used to help convey the knowledge on the sexual health in the schools and communities. Each province has conducted its own specific campaign. For example, the youth leaders from Ubonratchathani conducted a shadow play; the ones from Payao conducted a short video clip, and the ones from Leoi conducted a learning base, a short story book and shadow play. Moreover, Buriram’s youth leaders conducted a drawing and a short video while Mukdaharn’s ones conducted the campaign “Friends Help Friends” and gave counseling on the sexual health and education. The content of the campaign was designed at the appropriate level to each age group. For example, the age group of grade 1 – 3 would learn about the difference between male and female; the age group of grade 4 – 6 would learn about their own physical and development of teen sexual behavior; the age group of grade 7-9 would learn about how to say “no” to protect themselves from being sexually abused. In addition to running the campaign and activity with children and youth, youth leaders also organized an exchange of knowledge with parents. The activity “Happy Saturday” has been used as a platform for parents to discuss openly about sex health with children and youths as well as provide them the guidance.

          Each school has developed many types of media that help to reach more children. Chainarong, a youth leader from Payao told us “I am proud to become a youth leader and am able to share my knowledge about sex education with my junior as well as my friends. They have changed their attitude that it is necessary to learn about sexual education. No one should feel shy to talk about it. I have chosen to produce a short video clip. Currently, people have a faster and wider access to internet. A short video clip is easy for most people to understand. People are interested and can quickly remember.” The statement made by Kru Nisakorn from Payao is correct that “usually sexual education is conducted in the physical education class only and it is all about the theory without any supporting activity; therefore, children are not so interested. Children are more responsive and come up with more questions when media are used as an example case similar to their daily life is given.”

          Thank you to our donors for your support to the project “400 Youths Combat Teen Pregnancy in Thailand” for youths to develop and gain leadership skills. Youths have volunteered to share their understanding of sexual health to other children and youths in their communities. However, to achieve the goal in combatting teen pregnancy, it is necessary that all parties involved in youth development and parents continuously participate and take part in preventing activity as well as finding a long-term solution in order to solve this problem in a sustainable manner.

Learning on our physical change to teenages
Learning on our physical change to teenages
Solving reproductive health problems
Solving reproductive health problems
Cleaning your body
Cleaning your body
Shadow play
Shadow play

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Hongsa is testing video clip.
Hongsa is testing video clip.

 

Intelligent Video Media on Sex Education.

By the Youth Leaders on Intelligent Sexual Knowledge. Buriram Province

 

For the last whole year, the campaign which Burirum Child Development Center has initiated the project “Intelligent Sexual Knowledge” and implemented the project at five schools thatwere facing the problem that the girl students dropped out from school due to pregnancy. Therefore, the core leaders of the intelligent sexual knowledge group in cooperation with one another organized events with activities such as campaigning, wire broadcasting, and community radio in order to educate the children aboutsex education. This hascreated the impact among the students to be alerted more on self-care taking on sex. In addition, the pregnancy in teenagers has decreased gradually. Due to the success of the project, many schools realize to solve the problem on pregnancy among the teenagers and are interested in participate in the project more and more. For example, the camp “The Development of Skills for Youth Leaders on Intelligent Sexual Knowledge” was organized and got more than 100 student leaders from seven schools trained. The training focused on developing the potential of the core leaders in creating an activity to pass on the knowledge about sex education among teenagers more through communicative activities and made it more interesting.

 

The youth leaders of the sexually intelligent knowledge group from Romburipittayakhom Ratchamungklapisek School joined hands with one another to create the activity and pass in the knowledge on sex education. The team produced the video medium about how to protect one-selves during a sex activity and hosted the short film production competition via a video clip. Youth Leader Hongsa from Romburipittayakhom Ratchamungklapisek School, aged 17 years old, said, “Joining the Intelligent Sexual Orientation Camp make me and friends understand more about different and sexual attitudes, methods on how to communicate about sex education, consultancy on the media production to be used for any activity organization at school. Our group has chosen to produce the video “A self-defense video from sex.” The media used in this production will be used in school activities. And this year, we have planned to extend the activities to students in class. The content is appropriate for each age and there will be a short film competition through the video. Most of my friends in the school prefer to use the Internet rather than organizing a campaign or making a publicity label. The content of the campaign will also be about cleanliness and care for the body, contraception, disease prevention, self-defense skills, refusal skills, sexual intercourse. If you start having a boyfriend or girlfriend, you should have good knowledge of sexual refusal skills and knowledge on how to prevent yourself from having sex. Also, you should know the differences among love, sex, and schooling. If school friends have knowledge about the mentioned issues, you do not have to drop out or leave school. Now, my friends and I will do the campaign "Stop the pregnancy in teens" by making short clips and publishing on the social media like Line and Facebook that school children can access and watch them. This is because such the media are something close to children or easy to access and it will not take long. Doing the activities has brought us good knowledge, made us understand more about sex education. If there is any matter we don’t understand, we’ll try to find information to help each other. We also can consult with a teacher. "

Miss Hongsa also reflects the problem on pregnancy in adolescence. "In the past, it happened at school that 4 of my classmates and junior friends were expelled from school suddenly to marry. I think there might possibly be more students who have a problem about sex or are pregnant in school. I think that the importance for children at my age is to finish school. It’ is not that they quit the school after breaking up from a boyfriend or a girlfriend.  Why cannot we have a boyfriend or a girlfriend and study at the same time? But make sure that we know how to avoid pregnancy during a school life."

 

 In addition to the activities passing on the knowledge about sex by the youth leaders of the intelligent sexual knowledge group from Romburipittayakhom Ratchamungklapisek School through the media production and short film production, 20 of the project members spent their time on chatting with their school friends during a lunch break at many points within the school ground. They gave consultancy on healthy sex and they made sure that every consulted issue would be kept as a secret. This created trust among friends so that they dare to seek consultancy about sex education comfortably.

 

The story of the youth leaders on the intelligent sexual knowledge from Romburipittayakhom Ratchamungklapisek School, Buriram Province is one of the network working and developing the potential of the student leaders. They are able to design the activities to pass on the knowledge and understanding about sex and reached the groups of young children and teens well. Thank you very much to every donor for your generous support. With your donation money, CCF can move our campaigns forward continuingly. You can follow our updates on work progress on http://www.ccfthai.or.th/index.php

Other students are creating poster
Other students are creating poster
The wall posters
The wall posters

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Project Leader:
Danai Sakhonwasee
CCF (Community Children Foundation)
Bangkok, Thailand
$4,497 raised of $5,000 goal
 
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