YK Poudel

To educate young people on the sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), Y-PEER Bhutan trained 59 college students in Thimphu.

The five-day 19th national training of the trainers (NToT) that ended on July 26 saw participants from 13 of the 19 Y-PEER networks in Bhutan. The training was facilitated by 10 certified facilitators, with support from Programme and Youth Coordination Division, Department of Eduction Programmes under education ministry.

The national coordinator of Y-PEER Bhutan, Sangay Dechen Gyanzo, said that NToT trained Y-PEER members on SRHR through the comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) educational approach.

The young people came together to share knowledge and discuss issues that concerned their sexual and reproductive health such as the unintended and teenage pregnancies, family planning and contraceptives, gender-based violence, and sexually transmitted diseases, among others. The training was also expected to help them discover and fulfil their roles as peer educators and advocates in developing solutions. 

The training was aimed at enhancing social and professional skills of the participants through sessions on public speaking, digital literacy, team building, goal setting, and civic engagement.”

The main outcome of the training, she said, is to provide young people with accurate and relevant information on SRHR and CSE to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to make informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive life.  This, she said, promotes healthy lifestyles among young people. 

Rinzin Wangdi, 20, a participant from Gedu College of Business Studies said that the training has been beneficial in enhancing the knowledge of the participants on SRHR and CSE. “It has just been a year since I joined the Y-PEER network in college. The NToT taught us life- skills on SRHR, CSE and helped in building confidence.”

“This training will empower us to look at the social issues and pave a way forward,” he said.

Another participant from Sherubtse College, Khenrab Nyima Dorji, 18, said that the training session has helped him learn more about individual sexual rights and sexuality education. “Age-appropriate CSE should be taught comprehensively in schools from a young age.”

Parents should teach their children about healthy relationships and personal hygiene, as well, he added.

Y-PEER, a global youth movement, established in 2012 in Bhutan promotes youth participation and development. It primarily focuses on educating and advocating for youth on sexual reproductive health through a peer-to-peer approach.

The network currently has more than 2,000 registered youth members across eight dzongkhags in the country.