Upon our (Sunita and I) arrival in Surkhet, I was exhausted. The 18-hour bus ride seemed to have taken the life out of me, as it had been comparable to riding a mechanical bull, due to the consistent potholes. Additionally, I accidently leaked half a bottle of water onto my seat that I had left there during a pit stop. This meant hours of sitting in a soaking wet seat, bumping up and down continuously. When, to my relief we finally arrived at WRRP-West, we were given a room to share above the office with a gas burner to cook on and a pail of water for washing. Thus, our time in Surkhet had begun.
Our mission was as follows:
1. Construct and carry out a reproductive health (RH) school program for adolescents
2. Train community non-governmental organizations (CNGOs) to conduct programs independently to ensure sustainability
After 3 days of planning an adolescent RH school program, and a Saturday of preparing materials, we were ready to give the program a trial run. We travelled at 7:30 am on Sunday to a school approximately 30 minutes from the WRRP-West office to set up for the program. (Yes, schools in Nepal generally run from Sunday-Friday).
The WRRP team of four, myself included, traveled 2 at a time to the school via motorbike. I arrived last to find a crowd of students swarming around Sunita (program facilitator). The festivities had begun!
The activities were designed to address the following topics of reproductive health:
- HIV/AIDs (and other STIs)
- Life skills (ie. Personal ambitions, how to say no to early marriage and unsafe sex)
- Uterine prolapse
We used a variety of games that were adapted to convey lessons on reproductive health. For example, the group was divided into three teams, and each team was asked to generate the changes experienced during adolescence and write them on a large piece of paper. Team leaders were also selected, who in turn had to present the changes their team had written. Games that required physical activity were also used to convey the message (video is in process).
All together, there were about 30 participants whose ages ranged from 15-19 years. Among these, some of were married (hence the messages regarding early marriage, which is a contributing factor of uterine prolapse). The group was enthusiastic, and although some had to leave early for their hour-long walk home for lunch, a select group stayed until the very end of the program. All in all, the program was a success. The group was informed, and educational RH materials and books were given to those who stayed until the end, to distribute within their classes. Afterwards, the facilitators and members of the CNGO stayed behind to evaluate the program and provide feedback.
The next two days will consist of training the Surkhet community NGOs to implement the program within the schools from their respective areas.
To be continued…
Posted By Chelsea Ament
Posted Jun 7th, 2011