Adolescent Sexuality

Helping young people make conscious choices

 

Young Kenyans often lack places to safely ask questions, or talk to anyone about their sexual feelings. Our cultures are failing to prepare them to make the choices before them, and throughout their lives, in a conscious and self-confident way.

 

If young people knew more about all aspects of sexual life before they became sexual or as they were becoming sexual, much of the discrimination and self-hatred, insecurity and unnecessary risk, could be averted.  Acceptance and self-confidence, sound knowledge about the basics would replace it.

 

TICAH works with groups of adolescents and youth to help them discover the choices before them by learning about the choices others have made and the experiences they have had.  We believe that by doing this we can help young people to enter their sexual lives with the confidence and skills to make good choices for themselves.  We also believe that by working with young people, we can help create an environment which acknowledges diversity and is not afraid to celebrate everyone’s right to a satisfying intimate life.

 

We help create safe spaces for peer groups (young women and young men separately) to think about attraction, intimacy, safety, health, and pleasure. We support those who are not sexually active to think about the kinds of experiences they hope to someday have, and those who are already sexually active to claim safer relationships, establish more honest communication, and help create a more welcoming social environment, which will support all the possible choices we may want to make.

 

During our group meetings we identify natural leaders and train them as peer educators. We support the peer educators in running their support groups. Encouraging even the very shy girls and boys to take some leadership role in some of the activities that the group undertakes.

 

We have developed teaching and facilitation tools—in particular, we developed scenario cards and educational posters.  The scenario cards each have a true story (collected from our sexuality groups) about a sexual experience, told in such a way that it lets us discuss each choice made along the way, and analyze the cultural and social underpinnings which may have limited those choices.

 

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