Educate children on sexual health and behaviour, and create more awareness and openness on the subject within the organisation.
The goal of this project is to develop and implement a comprehensive sexual education program for the use of the youth of Casa do Caminho and the community at large. Additionally, professional mental health counseling and basic sexual health treatment and preventative health services will be established and made available to the children at Casa do Caminho as well as the 2,791 children, adolescents, and adults who live in the area closest to Casa do Caminho.
To achieve the project goals, four primary objectives have been developed. First, the community's knowledge about STDs, HIV/AIDS, and sexual issues will be increased. Second, the use of safe sex practices will be increased including the consistent and correct use of condoms, delay of initial sexual activity, reduction in the number of sex partners amongst youth and reduction in number of unintended pregnancies. Third, access to health services, including STD diagnosis and treatment will be provided. Finally, appropriate counseling and referral services for children, adolescents and community members with special issues and concerns will be provided.
The objectives will be reached by focusing on the following activities:
- Puberty, anatomy, and reproduction
- The Development and implementation of a sexual education curriculum that covers the following topics:
- STD and HIV transmission prevention
- Self-esteem and healthy relationships
- Gender roles and identity
- Sexual harassment and abuse
- Trainings for Casa do Caminho staff, volunteers, community health care workers, and local teachers on the new sexual education curriculum.
- Additional trainings will be provided to Casa do Caminho staff, local teachers, volunteers, and community health care workers on the following topics:
1. Identifying and responding appropriately to sexual acting out behaviors.
2. Working with gay, lesbian and bi-sexual youth.
- Workshops will be presented on sexuality, abstinence, and responsible sexual behavior for parents in Xerem.
- Pax students will be trained to teach sexual education to younger students through a peer-to-peer mentoring program.
- Community meetings will be held to ensure that the needs of the community regarding these topics are being met.
- A counseling center will be established in Xerem.
- The following mental health services will be provided at the counseling center:
- Youth and adolescent mental health screening
- Culturally sensitive individual and family counseling
- Crisis counseling for victims of physical and sexual abuse
- The following physical health services will also be provided at the center:
- Gynecological health service referrals
- Screening and treatment for STDs
- Access to condoms
- Access to preventative health information on STD/HIV/pregnancy
- Crisis services for victims of physical and sexual abuse
The program anticipates that by implementing these actions the level of knowledge about STD/HIV transmission will increase, condom use will increase, risky sexual behavior will decrease, and more people will have access to mental health services and STD diagnosis and treatment in Xerem.
The contact person for this project is Melissa Vargo, M.A., Pre-Doctoral Intern. You can reach her via email: varg9972[at]pacificu.edu