Pilot projectsProbably the most important was the testing of the educational materials in two communities in Guatemala (Santa Rosa and Santiago Atitlán). One of the changes that came about since we were working with boys and young men as well as girls and young women was to make the questions all inclusive -- questions about the opposite sex or their behavior -- the questions had to be answered by everyone.
We also introduced the mailbox after each class – the kids were required to drop a question in the mailbox at the end of the class anonymously which were then answered by doctors and psychologists and discussed in the following classes.
Perhaps the biggest realization was that the people teaching the class were going to have to determine what services (health, legal, social) were available before the class started so as to be able to direct kids with problems or issues to them. This is because so many sensitive issues surfaced right from the very beginning.
We have also started working with 2 people (one who is 12 and the other who is 17) to see if the materials can be done independently or alone. So far the feedback from them has been great, we hope to post their thoughts from time to time on this blog.
In 2010, we continued talks with UNFPA on using the materials in Nicaragua. UNFPA/Nicaragua has some interesting projects for youth. They produced a bulletin that came out at the time of the book.
The show in November highlighting the book was a different way to make the material accessible, to engage a wider audience outside of the classes that we were teaching. A group of students from an ethics class did come to see the exhibit accompanied by their professor after she had seen the show. I would have liked to have heard the discussion afterwards.
The show produced the possibility of working with a community in the Ixcan.
In our field work we are using the materials in very diverse communities and with people from extremely different backgrounds and they are responding positively - they come to class and they are interested as evidenced by continuing to ask questions.
Like minded projects
This year we are looking to partner with like minded organizations that encourage young people to think more about what they do. As I have always said, this is a universal issue and is relevant all around the world. If you know of any organizations that would be interested in working together, please get in touch with us.
We’d like to continue sharing with you developments in the project, so please stay connected with us through the website, facebook and our blog. This year we are planning on posting articles and relevant sites and of course content from the project. Please let us know if there’s something you’d like to hear more about and please pass this on to your friends and contacts that may be interested.
Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2011,