The topic of sexual health is often an off-limits discussion in households and schools and young people are either left clueless or ignorant on this issue, learning from questionable sources. The right educational content as information could help youth to understand the bigger picture that is associated with an individual’s sexual wellbeing. This was the main objective declared by a group of bold students from the Victoria University Business Program of Sunway College who decided to apply their management skills to practical use. They planned and executed a campaign to promote sexual health, wellbeing and maintenance in collaboration with social purpose organization, FRHAM (Federation of Reproductive Health Associations, Malaysia)
Led by a passionate leader, Wong Jia Hou, a 3rd year student specializing in Financial Risk Management, the team aptly labelled their Social Impact Project as Project Sexual Health in Teenagers. It was intentionally publicized as Project S.H.I.T, deliberately to get the attention from young people for their awareness campaign. One of their goals were to raise awareness on body development during puberty and the risks and responsibility associated with sexual wellbeing.
The project team formed under the Social Issues of Community Engagement module invested effort in initial correspondence with relevant NGOs and managed to reach out to Kingsley International School where they were keen on having such an educational session. After seeking and negotiating with a few NGO’s, the team sought the expertise of FRHAM to conduct the session with the students as lead facilitators. Due to the COVID19 Pandemic, there were restrictions to close physical contact and hence all correspondence were professionally handled through online platforms to minimize mobility. The team also made meticulous arrangements to adhere to the SOPs for the session at Kingsley High School which includes social distancing, wearing masks and having a Marshall to work with the school teachers so the SOPs can be strictly met during the 2-hour session with 109 high school kids conducted in a huge hall. Prior to the session, the Project team needed to promote the session at the school itself. Every major decision by the team was carefully discussed through consults with FRHAM and their lecturer advisor.
“Sexual Health in Teenagers aspires to provide beneficial education to Malaysian youth regarding their sexual wellbeing. The notion that sexual health education is a taboo topic needs to make way for raising awareness on its importance and implications. It is much needed today” says Adam Ayzzat, assistant Project Leader.
Besides learning how to tackle controversial or sensitive issues cautiously, the team also learnt about managing stakeholder’s expectation and on the good feedback received as well as the successful implementation of their project, the humble leader had this to say.
“The team deserves more credit. Everyone did their best for this project with common goal in sight”, says project leader Wong Jia Hou. It has been a long-standing debate in Malaysia on whether sex education should be included in schools’ educational content. These courageous students did something about it, took consideration of the concerns and constraints within their capacity and influence to do so and facilitated the process for the educational content to be imparted in an engaging, interactive and responsible manner.