Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll. We discuss all these with our adolescents

OVC Lifeskills Workshop 4-15If you are a parent or relative of a pubescent or teenage child, then you know all too well the importance of educating and equipping them with knowledge on puberty /adolescence, sex and sexuality, HIV/ AIDS and STIs, stress and stress management, peer pressure and, drugs and drug abuse. Like you, we are constantly faced with this issue given that a good 68 percent of our children are between 10-17 years old. To facilitate this conversation (which is one that our elderly custodians find difficult having), we hold Life Skills Training workshops with our teens where we encourage maximum participation from all. Our recent two-day session discussed behavior change, how to handle problems, how to cope with the emotions of being orphaned and of course the issues surrounding sexuality, drug and disease.

We had great facilitators who, given the timeframe, set realistic and achievable expectations. Our objectives included training teenagers in peer counseling and peer education as well as empowering teenagers with the self-esteem and life skills they need to protect themselves against peer pressure, HIV/AIDS and STI prevention and drug abuse.

The session got interesting when we discussed the transformation the body undergoes both physically and emotionally and during this session we delved into the difference between lust and love. Far beyond lust, which is fleeting and temporary, love paves the way for the building of one’s person. It is worth waiting for.

Love is patient – it takes time to know, give and is always growing vs. Rushes one for acceptance and hurry for sex
Love accepts – it aims to build a better one Keeps on changing vs. Lust opts for change
Love is kind- it longs to serve and make one care for the other vs Lust demands for service- doesn’t compel one to take time to understand the other
Love is not jealous – it enlarges all the other relationships vs. Lust is possessive and linked to insecurity

We concluded the session with our youth promising to internalize the message and to respect themselves and others. No, for instance, means just that: No. We are looking forward to our next workshop when we shall delve deeper into these and other related topics. Knowledge is power…and we invite you to join us in this quest to break the barrier and talk our young ones.  If we can do it, you can do it!

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