A while back we published an interview with Yayasan Peduli Bali’s Lily Wardoyo about HIV prevention and care in Ubud. Here Thomas Stubbs gives us a synopsis of the foundation’s latest education initiative, Bali Peduli Muda, with teenagers, Bali Peduli Muda:
For many teenagers, online resources will play a key role in their education and socialisation. It is during these formative years, where attitudes are shaped and behaviours are adopted. Therefore, it is important to consider the content they are being exposed to; especially when the topics relate to health, sexuality and relationships. There is a lot of incorrect and potentially harmful information online. Therefore, it is even more important the right information is made available.
Bali Peduli Muda’s (BPM) mission is to connect young people to better health. The organisation operates under the notion that through education, teenagers will make mature, informed decisions about their health and lifestyle.
In most Balinese communities, topics such as sexual health, contraception and sexuality are seldom spoke of – even taboo. This general lack-of-awareness can be damaging, as it creates a barrier to education and fuels ignorance.
Furthermore, due to inadequate sexual education in the school system, many teenagers grow up without the knowledge to protect themselves; exposing them to the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI) or unwanted pregnancy.
BPM was created to make sure the “right” information is available to Balinese youth. The BPM website is a space were teenagers can access information about topics such as puberty, contraception, sexuality and relationships. The website also includes a list of Bali based organisation that offer sexual, reproductive and mental health services.
Social media is a valuable tool because it puts the microphone in the hands of the audience. It allows them to ask questions and share the information they find most valuable with their friends. BPM is using social media to create safe, educational dialogue around sexual health and all those other issues teenagers face “growing up”. This also includes the BPM “blog”, where some of Indonesia’s most promising writers share their thoughts on various topics.
BPM hopes that through education, Balinese teenagers will make healthier decisions. To get involved, please follow, share, like and visit the BPM sites.