ZCME ANSWERS THE CALL TO PREVENT EARLY TEEN PREGNANCY AND MARRIAGE THRU EDUCATION

On June 16, 2015, the Zonta Club of Makati and Environs (ZCME), in partnership with the Society of Adolescent Medicine of the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SAMPI), held the first of a series of workshops focused on teen sexuality. The workshop effectively addresses a major thrust of Zonta International’s initiative: the prevention of early teen pregnancy and marriage.

The workshop was composed of 30 residents of Marillac Hills. These girls (ages 13-20 yrs.) are survivors of sexual abuse, rape, trafficking or are juveniles in conflict with the law. The workshop started off with a few lectures on teen sexuality, changes commonly experienced both physically and mentally during puberty. Also discussed were friendships with the same or opposite sex, peer pressure and proper hygiene. The girls were divided into five groups, each with a physician-facilitator. In both the breakout groups and during the lectures, the girls were encouraged to ask questions. The opportunity to dispel myths on human sexuality was greeted with much enthusiasm from the young participants. Several sensitive questions were answered in a frank and medically-supported perspective.

At the end of the workshop, hygiene kits, donated by Unilever through Makati Zontian Vicky Wieneke, were distributed to each participant. Psychological Center project head Joanne Zapanta-Andrada hosted the event. Also present were ZCME President Rosie Go, past presidents Georgitta Puyat, Linda Panlilio and Chona Lopez. Facilitating the workshop were SAMPI members: Drs. Macky Galvez, Emma Llanto, Angga Quidlat, Karen Santos and Josephine Cruz.

The second installment of the workshop is scheduled for June 30.