October 12, 2012
Sexual and reproductive health education is not part of formal education for girls in Haiti, but with the establishment of nurse-led sex education and life skills clubs, girls in rural regions are taking control of their futures. These clubs help young girls avoid early pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV as well as helping them to understand how their bodies work. The girls also go on to become advocates of safe sex practices among their peers. According to a UNICEF survey, only 29 percent of females between 15 and 24 who had sex with a partner with whom they were not married or cohabiting during the year before the survey say that their partner used a condom, and 15 percent of that same age group gave birth before the age of 18.
Nurse Carmensize Guerrier says that the sex education and life skills clubs became more popular after the 2010 earthquake, when young women lived in camps, with a heightened risk for sexual abuse. Several international organizations are involved in the efforts to create the clubs, including CARE, the Haiti Red Cross Society and Catholic Relief Services, as well as local organizations such as Fondation pour la Santé Reproductrice et l'Éducation Familiale.