The Planned Parenthood organization in Dominica is taking its message of sex education to schools in an age-appropriate way.
Family Life Coordinator at Planned Parenthood, Karen Fabien, explained that her institution has embarked on a school drive to talk with students as young as preschoolers.
Her most recent encounter was at the Drug Abuse Awareness Exhibition at the Newtown Primary School late last month.
“We’ve been able to touch as many as 70 students,” she effused. “It’s something that has been going on with Planned Parenthood but the fact that we got all of them together at one place, is a great achievement for us. We speak to the grade five and grade six on puberty, the grade ones and preschoolers on good and bad touches because we all know what’s happening in Dominica,” she informed.
Fabien is saddened that, “Some of the children don’t even know what a private part is. Some of them do not know the difference between a good touch and a bad touch. Some of them were asking interesting questions, some of them didn’t even know what to ask. But at the end of the day we believe we have achieved our goal, we got to educate the students and we’re pleased.”
She said an unfortunate trend has been observed in HIV/AIDS cases in Dominica and pleads with parents to properly educate their children on safe sex.
“One of the things we would implore parents to do is to talk to your children about sex and sexuality. Do not tell the young girls, ‘do not bring a belly for me’, speak to them about the changes that occur in the body. Help them to understand the sexual urges and how to deal with them.”
Fabien believes that, “if we have education from the school, if we have education from the parents and then we have Planned Parenthood and HIV/AIDS Response Unit coming and making it holistic then we know for sure we got the message across.”
Meanwhile, she is certain that most HIV/AIDS cases in Dominica result from a lack of knowledge.
Fabian said that her department has taken the role of using education to hopefully minimize the number of HIV/AIDS cases.
“They are not educated on HIV and how you can contract HIV.”
According to her, the Planned Parenthood organization will continue to educate students up to high school on the importance of safe sex.