Last year, I had created a library of images for Planned Parenthood Global, which works in rural and urban areas of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru, Ethiopia, and Kenya. In all of these countries, rates of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortions remain very high.
This post describes how Planned Parenthood has used a very innovative “Youth Peer Provider” model. This program trains young teenagers to teach and empower their peers with the knowledge that they need to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. These young people assume the role of health educators and contraceptive counselors. In countries where talking to young people about sex remains taboo, Youth Peer Providers help their counterparts to delay pregnancy, stay healthy, and stay in school.
The images of teenagers earnestly educating their peers, with explicit demonstrations of the proper use of condoms, are scenes that one does not normally see here in the US. Using peer counselors to educate their fellow adolescents has proven very effective in reducing rates of unintended pregnancy, and empowering teenagers to control their lives and pursue their dreams.
Below, Ofelia is a peer counselor who has been trained by Planned Parenthood. She is pictured outside her parents guesthouse in Cusco, Peru. She is explaining the proper use of condoms to a high-school student who lives in a rural area and boards at the guesthouse.
Planned Parenthood peer counselors distributing condoms and safe-sex information to young men and sexually active teenagers in a plaza in Jinotega Nicaragua
In Riobamba, Ecuador, another demonstration to a young couple on proper condom use.
In Cajabamba, Ecuador, an indigenous teenagers instructs her peers on the proper use of birth-control pills.
In Cajabamba Ecuador, Lourdes instructs a group of teenagers on safe sex and birth-control methods. Lourdes is employed by CHEMOPLAF, an Ecuadorian NGO who has partnered with Planned Parenthood.
In Awassa Ethiopia a young peer counselor demonstrates proper use of a condom.
A group of peer mothers gathering together for their weekly coffee ceremony in Awassa, Ethiopia. They use this time to discuss their experiences in delivering family planning information to members of their communities.
A peer mother discussing safe sex and contraception to a very interested 14 year old
In Adama Ethiopia an instructor for the Forum on Sustainable Child Development instructs a group of young girls on basic sexual reproductive health and contraception.