This project started in 2013, after a survey of high school students returned alarming results indicating poor knowledge among sexually active teenagers. As regular school curricula in the country do not include sex education the region took action and implemented an extra-curricular programme for students.
This comprehensive sex and relationship education programme includes 14 one and a half hour workshops, a trainer’s guide and a book for students. Classes discuss sexuality, attraction vs. love, communication, gender roles, equality, sexual and reproductive rights, anatomy, AIDS and STIs, contraception and family planning, access to gynecology and urology health services etc. Gender-based violence and sexual abuse are also specifically addressed.
Young people are not mere beneficiaries: they are engaged and empowered to be actors of change: 30% of trainers are indeed peer trainers, enabling young people to be both recipients and providers of support.
This highly transferable initiative started with a pilot project for 10 schools. 2 years later 77 schools were already involved across the region. In total we count 150 trainers who took benefit from Vojvodina’s, ensuring sustainability and long term impact. After 3 years, the project empowered 11865 young people from all over the region, for healthy sex and relationships.
Linked article: Serbian Province launches sex education classes
Photo credits: Marijana Petrovic @Unsplash https://unsplash.com/@danuberiverchild