Westfield Scholarship 2007 • Delivery strategies of Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) programs in Cambodian Schools, remote communities and to At Risk Youth, and associated programming to assist with intervention ideas aimed at improving ARH standards for Australian Indigenous Youth.
An overview. There are significant similarities between Australian indigenous cultural sensitivities and the Cambodian (Khmer) equivalent in terms of Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) and how this is delivered into schools. In Cambodia a considerable number of NGO’s are currently researching, developing and implementing innovative adolescent reproductive health programs.
Overview: condensed program These program outcomes address sexuality education topics with specific issues facing secondary aged Cambodian students including: • The interface between new and old cultural ideas. • The influence on risk taking behaviours. • Attitudes and practices of community leaders. • The relationship between STI vulnerability and social factors.
Research: Ethnography- • An ethnography is a description and interpretation of a cultural or social group or system. • The research examines the group’s observable and learned patterns of behaviour, customs and ways of life.
Research The research has centred around ethnographic principles, however a combination of both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. Participant observation and data collection techniques included - • Direct first hand observation of both teachers and students in schools where ARH courses are delivered. • Conversation and detailed interviews/survey with students and other youth not attending school. • Comparison of what Khmer teachers consider effective programs and how this relates to actual NGO developed programs.
Research.. Literature search included – • Detailed investigation of the NGO developed programs including research used to create these programs. • Investigation of delivery methods into NT communities.
Method • To access as many relevant NGOs as possible. • To build on links previously made when visiting Cambodia. • Structured and informal interviews. • Observations: classroom/community programs. • Data collection: NT and Cambodia. • Focus groups.
Current situation • Substantial information about ARH issues exists/is available amongst Khmer and Indigenous youth. • Positive behaviour change in terms of ARH has been minimal. • There is a continuing disregard for the sexual and reproductive rights of young women, from within communities.
Needs • Sustainable behaviour change, underpinned by changes in values and attitudes towards ARH. • Promotion of a rights based approach that addresses gender based violence and respect for the ARH rights of young girls and women. • Using appropriate and appropriately trained people to deliver ARH messages. • Deliver messages effectively.
Key points • Overcoming the stigma associated with talk about sexual health is vital. • Peer teaching is a highly effective way of delivering ARH messages. • Access to pornography and drugs are accepted as part of the male youth experience. • The above are clearly linked to inappropriate sexual behaviour. • An ill prepared teacher will render any ARH program ineffective. • ARH can be delivered across the curriculum.
Effective practice 1 • Community teams made up of people from a broad range of backgrounds, can effectively deliver ARH messages. • Community teams should be trained together. • Communities/Elders resisting ARH delivery should be approached directly and regularly to enable changes to traditional viewpoints on ARH. • Culture should be seen as a changing and evolving phenomena.
Effective practice 2 • Promotion of ARH messages through the Arts is a proven effective avenue for message delivery. • Street theatre, play groups, peer leader lead activities, music, art, dance and especially community youth radio programs are highly effective. • Mobile video units, puppet theatre, television and radio spots are very effective mediums of delivery. • Radio soap operas and call-in radio shows have enabled positive ARH messages to reach over 90% of Khmer youth.
Effective practice 3 • Promotion of international and national days such as International Youth Day using ideas in Effective Practice 2, provide an effective base from which to deliver ARH messages.
Effective practice 4 • Development of an effective condom promotion, distribution and social marketing program. • Countries in the Asia-Pacific region where STI infection rates have been lowered, have programs that teach detailed condom use and promote this publicly. • NT STI rates are increasing.
Recommendation 1 • Creation of a Travelling Sexual Health Road Show. • Use mediums such as Drama, Role Play, Comedy, Dance, Film etc. • Model on the Science Roadshow and Bell Shakespeare Roadshow.
Recommendation 2 • Development of a Lifeskills for ARH Peer Education Program. • A participatory training process provides Teams with information about ARH orientation necessary to train and engage other youth. • Empowering young people in ARH programming is a proven way of delivering ARH messages.
Recommendation 3 • That communities establish Youth Centres that focus on providing a safe environment in which ARH messages are delivered along with activities appealing to sustainable youth activities. • Centres should be open and staffed during late evenings when there is a high number of unsupervised youth on the streets. • Establishment of Men’s and Women’s safe areas within these Centres.
Recommendation 4 • Development and implementation of a radio based youth program – to be aired on local radio (possibly Radio Larrakia). • 1. Situational Comedy Show using local indigenous youth that delivers a ARH message. • 2. Youth Sexual Health Talkback Program.
Recommendation 5 • Development of a Beginning Teacher ARH Package. • To be used as a way of incorporating ARH issues across the curriculum.
Recommendation 6 • Development of an effective Condom UseStrategyfor implementation indigenous community level. • If condom use is positioned as a harm minimisation strategy then it is a proven way of preventing unwanted pregnancy and STI transmission (Smith et al 2000). These are major issues for indigenous youth.
Government Reports • All recommendations are linked to concepts presented in the following Reports: • The Little Children are Sacred Report. • The Indigenous Education Strategic Plan 2006-2009. • Transforming Indigenous Education.
Contact • For further information on this project contact: David Armstrong at the Northern Territory Open Education Centre. email@example.com