Health Education for Youth – HONDURAS
Since February 2017, EPIC has been working with a health promotion program for teens in Honduras. It is the initiative of 2 graduate students of the University of Honduras. In each town where they work, the university students give a series of workshops, one every other Saturday. The topics covered are self-esteem, drugs, sex education, dental hygiene, and nutrition (especially the constant consumption of junk foods). The purpose is to provide information to teens and younger children on health issues so that they can protect themselves and improve their own physical and emotional health.
In 2019 the project is working in 5 communities. It is giving classes and workshops for teens 13 to 20 years old in 5 schools and working with younger children in 2 middle schools. In December 2018, the program was regularly working with 150 teens and children, and by April 2019, it was working with 200 youth. However, when the program presents a special activity in one of the schools, there may be 500 to 600 students participating. In some communities, workshops on drug addiction are held for school children as young as 7-10 years old since in certain places the use of drugs is already directly affecting children of this age. Sometimes workshops are held in Catholic parish halls, and then many mothers also participate and in this way the whole family can be reached.
Teens often say that no one has ever talked to them about sex, drugs, or self-esteem and that they certainly wouldn’t ever feel able to ask their parents or other adults about them. However, the university students giving classes are only a few years older than the teens and they are from the same area of Honduras, so teens feel comfortable talking to them and asking many questions.