FLAMES Ignites the Light within Lao Youth
A Peer-to-Peer Training on Sexual Reproductive Health
Vientiane – June 28th
Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) education is important for young people to avoid undesirable outcomes of sexual behaviors due to a lack of accurate information.
Recently, a dynamic volunteer group of young and talented people called FLAMES (Friendship, Leadership, Action, Motivation, Education, & Success) provided a peer-to-peer training on sexual reproductive health to their potential successors (baby FLAMES) with financial support from Save the Children’s Child Rights Governance program.
Caption: FLAMES members are facilitating a discussion on human value & dignity potential successors.
The two-day training led by FLAMES members took place in a meeting hall at Save the Children’s office in Vientiane where peer-to-peer facilitators brought the usually-unspoken topics about SRH to the table for an honest and open discussion with 30 participants. The topics covered included human value and dignity, gender, friendship, relationship, pregnancy prevention, and sexual transmitted infection preventions.
Souphavady, an 18-year-old participant of this peer-to-peer SRH training, confirmed the conservative nature of Lao people when she said, “Some people might readily perceive this [SRH education] as debauchery because Lao people are still shy to discuss this. However, she also emphasized the need to learn about SRH. “I myself was not that interested in this topic, but, now, I know how important it is,”continued Souphavady.
Caption: Souphavady is posting for a photo in the SRH training.
SRH education, as a prevention measure, contributes to ensuring that children can exercise their four basic rights, particularly the right to stay healthy. Therefore, by having the necessary and accurate information, children become empowered to protect themselves from health problems and to maintain their wellbeing.
Besides empowering participants, this training also aims to strengthen the capacity of child- and youth-led groups to disseminate child right information to communities in which they live in. What is more, as the last one in a series of training sessions, this SRH education workshop would ignite the light within these youth members and children to become “baby FLAMES,” a new generation of FLAMES members who would succeed their predecessors in providing community services to Lao children.
In addition to telling her friends about the what she learned in the training, Souphavady also further hoped to become the baby FLAMES and to provide community service to other people through FLAMES. “I will be able to explain to my friends; and if I was recruited as a FLAMES member, I will be able to do more,” assured Souphavady.
FLAMES is a volunteer group that has been working closely with Save the Children in Laos since 2002.
In Save the Children’s current strategy, we are widening our reach through existing and new partnerships with both authorities and citizens to empower children and promote a society that listens and involves children in decision-making processes.
Caption: participants are playing a game about SRH topic. Caption: participants are arm-wrestling as part of the gender-related activity.
Story: Sankerdas Latthanhot, Communications Manager at Save the Children in Laos
Photos: Saysamone Phomphakdy (Save the Children) & Souphansa Sapane (FLAMES)