Focus on the Family
By JAYAGANDI JAYARAJ
300 students from five schools in Petaling Jaya and
the event that took place at the
Women, Family and Community Development parliamentary secretary Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun flagged off the 15-minute walk around the park.
The event was part of the No Apologies programme by Focus on the Family Malaysia Sdn Bhd aimed at helping young people deal with issues such as the value of the individual, marriage, family and the importance of keeping oneself pure for one's future husband or wife.
The character-based abstinence programme was developed in 1998. To date, it has reached out to some 17,000 young Malaysians and about 16,000 of them have taken the pledge.
on the Family
He said the workshops taught young people the meaning of a healthy relationship, influence of the media in premarital sex indulgences, the consequences of premarital sex, how to go about abstinence and information on HIV/ AIDS.
He said most trainers who were also volunteers at the workshop were also young people in their early 20s as it would be easier for the participants to relate to them.
“Otherwise, when you have older ones, then it's like hearing it from the parents again. We give them the information that they need to know and by the end of the workshop, we leave the decision to abstain to them. Those who pledge to abstain will sign the pledge card and carry it with them,” said Lee.
Also present was National Population and Family Development Board acting deputy director-general Dr Anjli Doshi Gandhi.
Teaching Youths The Virtue Of Abstinence
THOUGH the coffeeshop was buzzing with conversations, the young teenage couple sat in silence.
With tears running down her face, she informed him that she was pregnant.
He tried to pacify her, saying that they were capable of taking care of the child, giving her suggestions as to how they were going to face the future, all of which presented a rather bleak picture.
After a while, the conversation lapsed into silence. "I'm sorry," he said.
"It's too late for apologies," she replied.
The seven-minute skit is part of the half-hour video introduction to the "No Apologies: Say No to Sex" sexual education programme by Focus on the Family, a non-governmental organisation.
The video, shot in the
"Some of the interviewees are single parents, raising their child on welfare. Some suffer from sexually-transmitted disease. Each of them gave their opinion on what they would have changed if they could only turn back time," said No Apologies curriculum executive Peter Chang.
The sexual education programme, which began in 2003, aims to teach teenagers on how to say no to sex.
It has received favourable response from the students. Members of Focus on the Family work together with counsellors from LPPKN and Education Ministry as well as medical personnel from the Health Ministry in conducting the programme.
So far, they have reached out to 26,000 students, all between 13 and 20 years' old across
"The programme is a character-based abstinence curriculum that helps youths to make the right choices. The curriculum teaches them about self-esteem, the importance of abstinence, marriage and the family," said Focus on the Family executive director Lee Wee Min.
The goal of abstinence education is risk elimination, not risk reduction. Youths need to be taught to abstain from all risky behaviour, including premarital sex.
Abstinence works every time. It is the only 100 per cent effective means to prevent pregnancy and spread of sexually-transmitted diseases.
"We would conduct surveys at the start of the programme to find out what they think about premarital sex. Unfortunately, when we asked them when would be the right time to have sex, many replied 'night-time', instead of 'after marriage'," said Lee.
"So in the programme, instead of just having someone to give a talk, we encourage discussions about the consequences of saying 'yes' and saying 'no'.
"They'd realise that saying 'yes' to sex before marriage has a lot more issues involved than if they had said 'no'. It gives them a better picture of the negative consequences of premarital sex.
"By the end of the programme, we are quite happy to say that 92 per cent of the participants pledged to abstain from premarital sex," said Lee.
The NGO outfit also works with counsellors from the Education Ministry, with help from the Health Ministry.
For more information on the programme, log on to www.family.org.my or call 03-58823343.
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