Last Saturday we did a full day on sexual health.
We started at the Baylor Clinic, where the Teen club members were divided into gender groups. The boys talked about circumcision and we talked to the girls about what it means to become a woman - answering any question they might have. We also did a game with different myths related to sexual health and sexuality, where the girls got to choose wether they thought the myth to be true or false, sparking a lot of interesting discussions. Since a few of the girls are hearing impaired, one of our volunteers, Ts’olo, signed the whole session so that all the girls could partake.
After we finished at the Baylor clinic we drove straight to a town called Peka, where Ts’olo spoke about male reproductive health at a BRO-camp (Brothers Respecting Others), organised by the U.S Peace Corps. This is an all boys camp where they focus on teaching young men healthy values related to sexuality, gender, leadership etc. They also organise similar camps for girls -GLOW (Girls Leading Our World). The reason why the camps are divided into gender, is to create a more open fora where everyone feels comfortable to speak freely. Therefor during Ts'olo's session on male reproductive health all the females left the room. Lesotho has quite set gender roles, and being that a large number of the population is religious, dividing camps like these into gender often gives better results. It had been a long day of presentations for the boys, so we rounded up the day with a practical exercise - condom demonstrations.
Initiatives like these camps from organisations like the U.S Peace Corps, Red Cross and other NGO’s is extremely important, since a lot of the Catholic schools in countries like Lesotho don’t teach any or very limited sexual health. The age of consent in Lesotho is 18, but like most countries some of the youths have their sexual debut earlier. During the condom demonstration we did a Q&A and discovered that there is a lot if wrong information circling. For some of the boys this was also the first time anyone had shown them how to use a condom - like one of the boys that approached us after the demonstration. He was 17 and had been sexually active for two years.
Ida & Astri