“Mom, I’m pregnant!” A young school age girl told her mother in fear.
Thailand’s 2016 childbirths report revealed that 666,207 children, or equivalent to 15% of all childbirths, were born from teen mothers aged 10-19 years. Thailand’s rate of teen moms reached the 2nd top rank among ASEAN countries facing the similar situation. As a result, teen pregnancy was one of the priorities in the Eleventh National Economic and Social Development Plan.
Realising the impacts from this problem on the society, economy and families, Kanchanadit Area Development Programme, World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) has included adolescent reproductive health development and teen mom problem tackling into its work, in order to raise parents’ awareness of the importance to communicate with their kids around sexuality subject, as well as to support school administrators and teachers to understand the essential of sex education and be part of a system to prevent and solve teen mom problem and share the knowledge across networks.
“I agree with this. Our school has policy to discourage students from dropping out. Since WVFT started this project, we’ve given a full support for it,” said Ms Suchitra Srikhong, a teacher at Thauthae Pittaya school.
Therefore, the school has incorporated knowledge of adolescent reproductive health and teen mom into other activities run by Oryonoi Club (in which volunteer students work to promote the consumer rights to protection of health, both at school and in community) by leading the core leaders to attend training and go on a study trip to learn about premature pregnancy prevention campaign, supported by Kanchanadit ADP. Further, with the ADP’s collaboration, the youth leaders have organised exhibitions to provide adolescent reproductive health knowledge to other students in the school.
“Aside from campaigning against drugs and dengue fever, Oryonoi Club core leaders and members have responsibilities to give knowledge about teen pregnancy. We’ve carried out campaign rallies and distributed fliers in the community, made campaign announcements in the school daily morning assembly, and provided knowledge to peers in classrooms. When the school held academic activities or exhibitions, we’d prepare our display boards which would be used to provide information to fellow students who visited our booth,” said Thiew, a 12th grader and one of the core leaders, elaborating upon their responsibilities.
When asked about the result of the campaign, Thiew smiled before answered that “Some male students asked for condoms.”