Tuesday, August 5, 2008

PNGC Week 7: Sex vs. Abstinence

Week 7 was a critical week for PNGC. We had one of our most important lessons of the program: Sex vs.Abstinence. Paired with the lesson was decoupage--a chance for the girls to cut out anything from magazines that struck their fancy and paste it onto their very own pencil holder. My, what sticky, glittery fun!
Going into this lesson the PNGC leaders and I felt very strongly that the girls should walk out of club with the who, what, where, why, and how of sex and abstinence. They wanted to make sure the girls felt comfortable asking questions freely and having the correct information when making decisions about their own sexual health. Watching our leader’s give this lesson was a tribute to their abilities as teachers. They were engaging, made the girls laugh, and conveyed the importance of understanding what sex is, what is responsible sex, how to abstain from sex, and why.
Learners in our village are becoming sexually active at young ages. At our last leaders training, Jacqueline (PNGC leader and 2nd grade teacher) told all of us that one of her second graders knows 'how to do' sex and likes to talk about it with his classmates. From spending time at the clinic, I know the percentage of babies born to Seleka women under the age of 18 are about 30%. Most of these young women will never graduate from high school as child rearing becomes their primary responsibility. You don't have to walk around the village very long before seeing young girls walking around with babies on their backs. One hopes that the baby doesn't belong to her, but too often it does.
It is my hope that our seventh grade girls will have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Get an education, have good health, family and friends, a sense of spirituality, a comfortable home, an engaging/stimulating career, to provide for one's children, and to make South Africa a better place for all. I wish we could be around long enough to see how their futures unfold.

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