Health Care Workers Empower Girls in Haiti with Sex Educaction
To Vilianie Jean, a 39-year-old mother of three, discussing sex with her daughter used to be simple. “I don’t think a girl should know anything about sex,” Jean said during a meeting of parents and children at Profamil’s headquarters. “They should go to school and that’s it.”
But such rigid views have evolved. Jean is slowly relaxing to the point where she is broaching the subject with Lovely, her 17-year-old daughter.
“She tells me to stay away from boys because nothing good will come out of it,” Lovely said. Lovely is a bookworm who wants to be a doctor. “At school the girls call me a nun because I don’t talk about boys like they do.”
But Lovely acknowledged that discussing sex doesn’t mean getting involved in sexual activities — a distinction lost on parents. For too many, sex is a taboo issue not to be discussed with their children.
Such a message is what Profamil wanted to implant in young children, teenagers and parents minds when it started its Youth Empowerment Program couple of years ago. So every Friday, a group of 20 to 30 teenagers and their parents gather at various Profamil clinics where they discuss sexuality and the social and economic consequences of teenage pregnancies.