The high rate of maternal deaths and early marriages encouraged Women Research Institute (WRI) to carry out an advocacy programme on adolescent sex education and reproductive health rights (SRHR). Since June 2013, WRI has been running an SRHR programme for youths in Jakarta, Bandung, and Gunungkidul.
The programme in Jakarta has been underway since March 2014, with its main activities being dissemination and the establishment of three youth groups in East Jakarta and South Jakarta. One of the groups is the Karang Taruna (a youth organisation in a neighbourhood) of RT 6 called OKNAME in Klender, East Jakarta; whereas in South Jakarta the two groups are Gerak Cepat Selalu Ingin Tahu (Fast-Moving and Curious), abbreviated into GESIT, in 198 Junior High School (SMP 198) in Duren Sawit, and Lenteng Agung Information and Counselling Centre (PIK-LA) in 38 Senior High School (SMA 38), Lenteng Agung.
Karang Taruna of RT 6 Organisation (OKNAME)
OKNAME’s programmes include establishing a group, constructing the organisational structure, and carrying out a regular discussion to discover the problems that local youths are facing.
One of the youth problems identified in OKNAME’s area is the rampant risky sexual behaviour (inciting sexual diseases and even unplanned pregnancy), which leads to early marriage.
The identification of problems was developed further during the second meeting in April 2014. The discussion method used to elaborate the problem identification was mind mapping. In cases where youths engage in risky sexual behaviour, girls tend to be more vulnerable to be victimised, particularly in such problems in East Jakarta.
Gerak Cepat Selalu Ingin Tahu (GESIT) SMP 198
GESIT started its activities in April 2014, with its first agenda being the establishment of the organisational structure. It started its discussions in May 2014 on the introduction to reproductive health, such as menstruation, female reproductive organs, and puberty. In the first discussion, it was discovered that a majority of the members (10 girls) did not quite yet understand the definition of reproductive health. Therefore, in this discussion the facilitator focused on giving a comprehensive explanation about reproductive health.
The theme of the next meeting was menstruation. The discussion began by watching a short film on the process of menstruation, followed by a conversation on female reproductive organs and their functions. In the third meeting, the latter was taken up for an in-depth discussion based on the book “Female Reproductive Organs”, with the aim to make participants understand more about their reproductive organs and functions.
A discussion on puberty took place in the fourth meeting. The facilitator began by asking what the participants felt when they experienced puberty. The members talked about their first menstrual experience and the changes to their reproductive organs. Basically, puberty is characterised by menstruation for females and nocturnal emissions (or commonly called wet dreams) for males. Puberty is the point for teenagers to start realising themselves and their reproductive system. When they start recognising their reproductive system, they will be able to understand its roles and functions. It is hoped that this will enable them to look after their reproductive organs and reproductive health from damaging things or behaviour.
Lenteng Agung Information and Counselling Centre (PIK-LA) SMA 38
SMA 38 is the school recommended by the Community Empowerment, Women’s Affairs and Family Planning Agency (BPMPKB) DKI Jakarta Province and the Family Planning Office of South Jakarta. SMA 38 was chosen because they already have an Information and Counselling Centre (PIK).
The first meeting of this group took place in May 2014, started by mapping youths’ problems, and more specifically identifying the problems that youths experience in school. It also discussed the issues that are immediately visible and felt as part of youths’ problems. As this group is already part of the Adolescent Information and Counselling Centre in school, it facilitates the dissemination and capacity building process for its members.
Despite this fact, however, the information that they had received on reproductive health is still scarce. Therefore, this activity was strongly supported and appreciated by the school’s officials, teachers, as well as the guidance and counselling division (BK). ***