As part of the component of the Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) Program, Mahintana Foundation in coordination with the Technical Working Group (TWG) under the Polomolok Task Force Kalusugan (PTFK) project, organized a 3-day Peer Educators and Peer Counselors Training on October 27-29, 2017. The activity was held at Anchor Hotel, General Santos City attended by 68 youths from private and public secondary schools including the Out-of-School Youth. The purpose of the activity is to provide the youth the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively deliver messages on sexuality and reproductive health and empower them to become responsible adolescents.

This kind of intervention have a potential for reaching a broad segment of youth through the effective use of peer educators as role models for their peers by practicing what they were taught and educating other young individuals about adolescent development, sexuality and reproductive health as well as their roles and responsibilities as catalysts of change.

The lecturers were teachers from different schools and their discussion covered various topics related to ARH such as: Personal Challenges as a Teenager, Sex and Gender roles, Fertility Awareness, STI/HIV/AIDS, Perils of Pornography, Sexual Harassment, Teenage Pregnancy, Courtship and Marriage, Facilitation skills and How to be a Peer Educator and Peer Counselor, among others.

Workshops were initiated where the students actively participated and shared their thoughts and insights during group discussions. Role-playing was also part of the training which provided the peer educators an opportunity to practice their communication skills and understand current scenarios.

Overall, the activity was successful in achieving most of its objectives. It made a remarkable impact to the peer educators and empowered them to take charge of their own sexual and reproductive health. They also learned important skills such as how to be compassionate, non-judgemental and actively listen. As Peer Educators, they are now involved in raising awareness and promoting a positive change with their peers and in their community.

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