Youth team addresses teen pregnancy in T'boli community

 Photo courtesy of Ideas Positive

The following is a press release from Ideas Positive.

Out of 16 National Finalists, Team TeenPUYOG from Region XII – SOCCSKSARGEN was named the Grand Champion of Ideas Positive Run 8. Their project, IDOLescent M.A.T.T.E.R., aimed to address teen pregnancy in Kiamba, Sarangani, by training 25 peer educators, who in turn educated 200 T’boli youth. The awarding took place at the Ideas Positive Youth Forum on Public Health 2018, held in Iloilo City last August.

Addressing teenage pregnancy in Sarangani

Team TeenPUYOG hailed from Region XII – SOCCSKSARGEN. Their project, IDOLescent M.A.T.T.E.R., empowered peer educators to engage T'boli youth on the prevention of teenage pregnancy. The team’s youth members, Claresse Ann Bautista, Desirre Merced Mae Pagaduan, Elizabeth Ariel Hannah Maturan, Edgardo Martinez, and Raffle Tagapulotan were assisted by their mentor, Godwin Lord Gallo.

During their presentation at the Grand Finals, Team TeenPUYOG shared the story of Barangay Maligang, one of ten Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) in Kiamba, Sarangani.

Among the pregnant women of the community, 31% were teenagers. “In Brgy. Maligang, teenage pregnancy is the main contributor in maternal mortality. We don’t want to risk more lives, we don’t want to shatter more dreams. That’s why we conceptualized our project, IDOLescent MATTER: Motivate, Advocate, Testify, Teach, Educate, Relate.” (READ: HIV and teen pregnancy: A national youth crisis)

The team explained, “The positive idea behind this project is to capacitate our IDOLescents to take lead in [addressing] teenage pregnancy through peer education.” (READ: Kids having kids: When choice is not an option)

Team member Desiree emphasized, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Kailangan malaman ang consequences of teenage pregnancy sa kabataan. (The youth should know the consequences of teenage pregnancy.) It can lead to maternal deaths, and contributes to the cycle of poverty.” (READ: Young, pregnant and poor)

Team TeenPUYOG exerted every effort to ensure that the project involved holistic, culturally-sensitive strategy. “The first step was to train peer educators or IDOLs on peer education basics, concepts on puberty, age-appropriate and culturally-sensitive sexuality and responsibility, psychosocial and mental well-being. After we trained them, we conducted youth development sessions for over 200 adolescents. We also established an adolescent-friendly health facility in Brgy. Maligang.”

Team member Edmar felt that the impact of their project went beyond curbing teen pregnancy in their chosen community. “The most fulfilling part of the project is seeing the transformation of the peer educators, watching them grow. Watching them spread their wings gave us a sense of satisfaction. We are youth enablers, and kasama kami sa mundong binago nila (and we are with them in the world that they changed).”

The project helped reduce teenage pregnancy by 50% during the time of implementation. The team believes that the key to their project’s success was “the positive engagement of the indigenous community of T'boli in Barangay Maligang, together with the barangay council and Sangguniang Kabataan.” (READ: Teenage pregnancies: Untangling cause and effect)

Now that the competition is over, Team TeenPUYOG is coordinating with the local government in the hopes that IDOLescent M.A.T.T.E.R. continues to be implemented, not just in Brgy. Maligang, but in the rest of Kiamba.

Ideas Positive is the youth engagement program of Unilab Foundation that enables the youth to build healthier communities. Since 2012, Ideas Positive has helped transform the ideas of over 315 young Filipinos into outstanding outcomes in over 105 communities nationwide, touching the lives of more than 2.2 million Filipinos. – Rappler.com/Press release

Ideas Positive will open recruitment for Run 9 in October 2018. Start thinking of your positive idea now! Follow Ideas Positive on Facebook (facebook.com/IdeasPositivePH) and Twitter (@ideaspositive).

The Ideas Positive Youth Forum on Public Health is supported by UNICEF, United Nations Development Programme Philippines, National Youth Commission-Visayas, Department of Health-Region VI, Local Government of Iloilo City, Department of Tourism-Region VI, STEM+ph, University of the Philippines-Visayas Debate Society, YSEALI, OPPO, SMART, Enervon, Biogesic, Immunpro, NasoClear, Myra, Priva, San Miguel Foundation, ICON, U-Events.

For more information about Ideas Positive, please contact Unilab Foundation Media Relations Officer Regina Layug Rosero at regina.layug.rosero@unilabfoundation.org, or visit www.ideaspositive.org.