Last Monday, April 11 2016, YOFES carried out a workshop on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). I am no stranger to teaching but my satisfaction at the direct and immediate impact of our health education program dubbed Project Smart is unparalleled in this field.
It is quite amazing and rewarding to see that both Haitian and Haitian-American youngsters, especially the disadvantaged ones, are granted the same access to a healthy lifestyle as their counterparts from more economically privileged areas. Consequently, their grateful smiles and words, followed sometimes by spontaneous hugs, are a breeding ground for further commitment and a beautiful sight at the end of our health workshops.
There were 14 participants ranging from 16 to 20 years of age, of whom 9 are girls. Beyond the demographic make-up, girls seem to be more aware of the importance of routine medical check-ups and health-related events. In fact, the focus on the body parts, their function and the most prevalent STI among the young people came in handy. Useful facts were appropriately shared and awareness on the part of the youngsters was patent on the pledge sheet we passed around at the end of the session.
In a nutshell, I gladly stand by the philosophical perspective of YOFES and embrace its noble endeavors for the communities where it operates. However, nothing is greater than this overwhelming feeling of fulfillment upon the realization that young people will be able to make from now on informed decisions in regard with their own health, let alone the ripple effect in their schools and homes. As our motto says, “Education is the only Solution”.