|Sophia & Tino Photo by M Barrett Miller|
Unfortunately, the majority of messages I received shared the absence of training, support, and education in communities facing dire health challenges. Many messages included the wish that schools in their country would create peer training as exemplified by Ms. Velatequi and her students.
I wrote back to many people telling them that though these kids are doing incredible work there are other schools, and school districts/administrators, here in the state of Washington that will not allow this training in their schools.
The rationale for not allowing young people to have access to information is complex, though fear and ignorance play a large role in these kinds of decisions that leave our young people at risk.
A simple, effective, persuasive demonstration that got all the kids attention!
Laced throughout their presentation were reminders that abstinence is a valid choice that offers peace of mind, on many levels, to this age group.
After Sophia and Tino showed the kids how to properly use a condom they paired off the kids into twos handing one of the partners a condom. A couple of kids were a bit skittish about unwrapping and applying a condom to their partners outstretched fingers but most took part without a blink. They quickly realized why improper use of a condom has a significantly higher rate of failure than a properly used condom.
They received rousing applause for their presentation!
I look forward to watching how these older students integrate the lesson.