Adolescent Health and Development
Adolescent Health and Youth Development is a concern, which does not need justification. The youth is the future. They are the hope of the nation.
Today, there are more young people than ever. Neglect of adolescents can lead to problems both immediately and in the years ahead. Indeed, the quality of our youth today will shape the quality of our nation tomorrow.
The world today offers adolescents both remarkable opportunities and serious risks to their health. More than ever before, adolescents are able to attend school and benefit from technological progress. Yet, adolescents of today are also more exposed to a growing number of diverse threats , than any other generation has been.
Earlier puberty and diminishing influence of family and traditional institutions, are exacerbating the risks of early sexual involvement. Potentially harmful substances - alcohol and other drugs are now more readily available to adolescents and threaten their health, both in the short and long term. Violence inflicted by the young and on the young is a growing phenomenon. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) is also on the increase among the young. Many more have become victims of trafficking, hazardous environments, exploitation and sexual violence.
Parents, caregivers and youth development workers are faced with the daunting challenge of helping adolescents anticipate and cope with the myriad changes happening to them. They also have to prepare them to confront the threats and risks that they encounter in their passage to adulthood.
Adolescents need to develop competencies for adaptive and positive behavior, so as to be able to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of this transition stage. They also need to acquire skills which will help them to chart their course and navigate their passage in this diverse and changing world.
Adolescence is a gateway to the promotion of healthy lifestyles and positive personal attributes. Many of the attitudes and behavioral patterns acquired during adolescence (such as gender relations, sexual conduct, the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, life habits and dealing with stress, pressure and conflicts ) will last a lifetime.
The Sexually Healthy and Personally Effective (SHAPE) training package is POPCOM's contribution to national efforts to create an environment that will enable all young people to maximize their potential. It is a part of a campaign to reach young hearts and minds and help them develop capabilities to manage their future and become responsible citizens of tomorrow. It is a vehicle for woking with families, communities and schools, in providing appropriate information and assistance needed by adolescents for developing positive and responsible lifestyle choices and behavious.
Admittedly, no institution can single-handedly promote adolescent health and youth development concerns. Thus, there is a need for synergy and collaboration among GO's, NGO's and LGUs.
The SHAPE training package is a vital tool as we move towards our shared goal of ensuring that adolescents are able to acquire the information, build the skills, obtain the services, and live in a safe and supportive environment that they need for their health and development.
You are most welcome to make full use of this training modules.
Adolescent Reproductive Health
Adolescence: A Time For Answers
The central task of adolescence is to find a workable answer to the question which has pre-occupied humankind for many centuries and has been the subject of innumerable poems, novel and autobiographies: "Who am I?".
The search for a sense of identity is most pronounced and obvious during adolescence. During adolescent years, the young person is confronted with a host of physical , physiological, psychological, sexual and knowledge changes as well as new and varied social, cognitive and intellectual demands. Adolescents may at times feel like spectators observing their changing selves or as one adolescent put it:
"Standing in front of the mirror
I'm wondering what that person is all about.
Odette de la Cruz, age 16."
This module is a labor of love for our own and all Filipino adolescents seeking answer to the age-old question of "Who am I?". It is a love-filled walking through with them as they anxiously try to integrate the rapid changes of body and mind into a gradually emerging sense of identity, uniquely his/her own.
The walk through begins with the presentation of the inevitability of change, both physically and personally and the accompanying fears, worries and difficulties spawned by misinformation and difficulties in adapting quickly to occuring changes. The adolescent is expected to feel good about his / her body and proud of him/herself after this phase.
The next stage of the walk through would bring in the drama of physical; and psychological changes associated with sexual maturation. Going through this would enable the traveling teen and his/her companion to explore human sexuality, gender and sexual orientation as he/she slowly realizes that man is "also a sexual being".
Finding one's identity is facilitated in one's relationship with others, which boy-girl relationship. The teen and his/her chaperone is initiated to the thrills of first love and first date, without covering the faces and pitfalls of love and sounding the warning for datings. Yes, young man/lady, there is love without sex.
Adolescents are not exempt from problems and the last stage of the walk through is on how to get through threats and stress confronting teens. Surviving this stage would make them better equipped to face the world, as persons who knows who and they are for.