World Renew is committed to promoting good health through the education and empowerment of local health care providers. However, one of the best ways to promote wellness in a community is by educating the general public.
In Senegal, this translates into Adolescent Health Programs. World Renew’s partner CECS (Evangelical Health Coordination Committee) is an association of the three protestant denominations in Senegal. With the support of World Renew, they work with local communities that do not yet have the capacity to manage HIV and AIDS, malaria, adolescent health, and other health programming.
CECS runs sixteen Adolescent Health Program groups in various towns and villages across the country. These programs teach adolescents about health issues and healthy lifestyle choices. They also deal with communication with parents and cultural issues such as teenage marriage and pregnancy.
Program Assistant Gedeon Weber recently visited several CECS groups to interview participants and parents. Here are a few of the reactions:
I had asked the peer-educator to go talk to my parents about the goals of the Adolescent Health Program because they would have to allow me to participate. He did so and my parents think it is a good program… There are three guys in our group who used to tease people who were ill but their attitude changed thanks to the sessions on stigmatization and discrimination.
My parents say this is a good program. I share with them everything I learn. We have talked about AIDS, good behavior, reproductive health, transmission of diseases, having a dream, and the menstrual cycle. They were very interested and have asked me to continue participating in the meetings.
What I learned about early pregnancy and STIs gave me more knowledge about how to deal with boys, and I’m now more careful in my relationships. I explained methods of family planning to a number of adult women in the village in the way it was taught by our peer-educator.
Because of its success, this curriculum is being adapted and shared with World Renew’s partners working in Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Bangladesh. David and Jessica Oldenburger, who work with World Renew’s Global Volunteer Program, are also reviewing and updating the curriculum to better fit with Senegal’s quick development and changing culture. To learn more about the Oldenburger’s work in Senegal, click here.
Praise God for the positive reactions from participants in the Adolescent Health Program! Visit our Good Health webpage to learn more about how World Renew is working to promote health and wellbeing around the world.