168909 Adolescent reproductive health from degree zero: A new hope for non-literate adolescents in Bangladesh

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 4:30 PM

Hrishikesh Sarker, MBBS , Plan Bangladesh, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Mahbubul Islam, Dr , Plan Bangladesh, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Shehlina Ahmed, MBBS MPH , Plan Asia Regional Office, Bangkok 10201, Thailand
Abdur Razzaqul Alam, MBBS, MPH , Bangladesh Country Office, Plan International, Washington, DC
Mohammad Zairul Islam, MBBS MPH , Plan Bangladesh, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Luis Tam, MD DrPH , Plan USA, Arlington, VA
Ruhul Amin, MBBS MPH , Plan Bangladesh, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
BACKGROUND. Plan Bangladesh (an international, child-centered humanitarian NGO) has been implementing an Adolescent Reproductive Health project in rural districts of the country and in slums of Dhaka for 6 years. One of the major limitations for its successful implementation was the unavailability of learning materials for non-literate adolescents. THE INITIATIVE. In 2006, Plan Bangladesh facilitated a participatory story writing workshop by the participating adolescents. Based on the resulting 12 best stories, each one was translated into a set of photograph-based story cards which were intelligible and interesting to the non-literate adolescents. Each story was represented through 12-15 cards involving real-life adolescent characters and photographed in their own environment. Few diagrams were also added after field testing. FIELD APPLICATION. During each educational session, the facilitator distributed story card sets among the adolescents on a particular topic. He/she asked each group to develop and present a story by serializing the cards. Adolescents told different creative and imaginative stories. Each and every time they brought new stories which reflect the current issues and events happening around them. RESULTS. Attendance of adolescents to the educational sessions increased significantly after beginning to use the story cards. Most importantly, the quality and depth of the group discussion enhanced dramatically. Story cards provided new opportunities to non-literate adolescents to express their concerns and to discuss them openly. Story cards have made them authors of their own stories and have melted the ice around the sensitive issues, creating interest and motivation to participate in the project.

Learning Objectives:
Assess the importance of developing culturally appropriate educational materials for non-literate adolescents, which will promote their expression of current issues and facilitate peer discussion and planning.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

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