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Comic strips about sex education for children and teenagers: a fun way to learn! (updated 2)

Children sexual abuse is a serious problem in low income areas, due to the lack of proper sex education. Especially in countries with a more conservative view regarding gender, children usually do not have sufficient information about their body and in a way don’t know how to protect themselves. Our idea is to provide sex education by comic strips in a simple, understandable and interesting way, so hey can learn about their body, gender, what can and cannot be done to them and to prevent themselves from potential sexual abuse.

Photo of EarlyBird
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The main characters in the comic strips are two ordinary kids in India, Prateek and Anita, who have similar curiosities as other children. The comic strips consist of different short stories evolving among the main characters, their friends, families and neighbours.

It covers various age groups from pre school children to teenagers.

The topic including “ where did I come from”, “how to prevent myself from sexual assault” “ the difference of boys and girls” etc..

For teenagers, the topic could be “how to prevent teenage pregnancies”, “girls’ menarche” and etc.

Thus Prateek and Anita could be good friends along with children’s growth.

Phrase 1: Come up with the design of characters and storyline by working with artists. And distribute to children at different ages through local NGOs and schools.
Phrase 2: Organize workshops to help children understand the contents better with the support from schools and NGOs. It could be done in a fun way like role playing. Children will be put into virtual situation such as when strangers trying to touch them or give them food, so they would learn how to react and protect themselves under particular scenario.

Explain your idea in one sentence.

A series of comic strips about sex education for children in different phases to explore the “secrets”, protect themselves and raise respect for other genders.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

Being curious about sex in an early age is human nature, but most parents are not willing to talk about it due to cultural or social concern. Thus children do not have proper resources towards sex education. So we are trying to turn “sensitive” or “embarrassed” topics into this fun way of self learning by using comic strips as our medium to deliver this knowledge given their interest in cartoons and comic books.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

Children will get the sex education in an easy and fun way. Instructors will use a really effective tool. Parents will not have to spend time to think of appropriate ways to educate their children on this topic.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

Our team will draw some drafts. School teachers, NGOs working in education and comic book artists can help us.

Where should this idea be implemented?

We will target elementary schools at low-income urban areas in India, specially in Delhi. Our target ages are: from 3 to 6: body parts, difference in genders, games and speak. from 6 to 10: my body is changing, respect for others. from 11 to 13: building respectful relationships with my friends, PMS, bullying, pregnancy and sexual diseases, acceptance for diversity.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

We will distribute our comic strips to children of first grade (6 to 7 yrs old) in one elementary school of NYC . After one week, we will organize a workshop at that elementary school to find out whether children like it or not and teachers' opinion. We will cooperate with a local NGO on child education.

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Spam
Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Early Bird! Great idea and also looks like a fun project to do!
I am a pediatrician and a member of this awesome community. Here are some resources that you might find useful for your project. Check out these informational comics that are posted on the website for the Young Men's Clinic at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. They may inspire some ideas in
your work. I particularly like that one is designed as a resource with links to
care and other youth friendly resources in the community, written in language targeting their audience.
http://www.youngmensclinic.org/comics.php?id=4
I saw some of your earlier drawings that were posted. Did you take them down? There were some related to prevention of sex abuse in young children. This is a parent info guide about the topic. Perhaps it will give you ideas for age appropriate content for story lines.
http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-
home/Pages/Sexual-Abuse.aspx
I look forward to seeing more strips!

Spam
Photo of EarlyBird
Team

Bettina thanks so much for your comment. We took those down because we are evolving in our prototype. The first one was a sketch that one of our team members put together. This second round was with an art student. We received feedback from an elementary teacher from Germany, and definitely there is room for improvement.
We are looking to collaborate with specialists in education, teachers, and psychologist to understand what the appropriate message and type of drawings can be more suitable for each age group . Of course we are not living parents out, since they will be the first one to receive training in this material and be able to support their kids in this process.
We will check all the sites you sent us and for sure we will gain some insight from them.
Stay tuned for a new release!

Spam
Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi again EarlyBird! To clear up some confusion the parent information above is a resource written by physicians, The American Academy of Pediatrics. Doctors who care for children in the US are trained to detect signs of abuse. We also do sex ed counseling. Here is a medical site designed for kids, teens, and parents, each having their own section, written with them in mind.
yourhttp://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/sexual_health/development.html#cat20594 There are games for kids, videos, diagrams etc. There are sections on child development, sexual development, "all about the body", STDs, puberty, bullying, - lots of good stuff. Perhaps resources written by experts for kids and parents can be a great way for you to learn and gather information on what is appropriate for different age groups as you develop ideas for your story lines.
I look forward to your new release! I thought your first prototype was a great approach. Having one set of characters across various scenes is a great approach for learning in small children. Have fun iterating!

Spam
Photo of Pushpa Joshi
Team

Great!!! loved it.

Spam
Photo of EarlyBird
Team

Thanks Pushpa. Looking forward to collaborate with you in the near future

Spam
Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Great that you're planning on drawing drafts for this! (especially as it looks like one of the images you've used is from Vector Stock and doesn't seem to be rights free to use here :^) Could be really cool to involve some kids and potentially an NGO as you create the designs – to get their feedback an input. Exciting possibilities...

And here's a friendly tip: update your OpenIDEO profile so folks can dig who they're collaborating with. Think skills, experience, passions & wit! Looking forward to seeing more of you across conversations on this challenge...

Spam
Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Thanks for your comments, Meena! We just updated the post with our sketch. We'd love to have your suggestion. We also plan to reach out to YP Foundation since they are working with kids and maybe we could collaborate with them on their programs.

Spam
Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Nice one, guys! Looking forward to what feedback you get from the YP Foundation (will be interesting to see if they know what a 'bathing suit' is :^)

Spam
Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Yeah, the way of expression should definitely be considered again and again. We will figure out what words are best for children in India after contacting YP people.

Spam
Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Nice idea and update (! :-)).
Good point Meena re. the bathing suit: I guess that's also cultural awareness and learning ... in all directions :-)

It'd be great to see what the YP Foundation think about the idea.

Spam
Photo of Sofia Zafeiropoulou
Team

Thanks for your comments Meena and Anne. We have to prototype our drawing drafts and notice different reactions from kids so as to find out which will be the best way to present this. We really look forward to it!

We will also update our OpenIDEO profile.

Spam
Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi all,

check Nathan's post on their visit at YP (in case you haven't)

http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/spending-the-day-at-yp-foundation-in-delhi-building-potential-of-low-income-communities-with-student-volunteers

and in particular the program Know your body, know your rights http://www.theypfoundation.org/programmes/know-your-body-know-your-rights/

You might also want to check this idea from a previous challenge http://www.openideo.com/challenge/creative-confidence/inspiration/nurturing-creative-confidence-and-self-expression-through-cultural-comics-1
Feel free to comment on Sarah's idea and share with her yours and see if she has any suggestions / advice.

Good luck!

Spam
Photo of Rafael Carabano
Team

Anne I have contacted Sarah, hopefully we can hear back from her. Thanks for sharing these links, we are checking them out as we move forward as a team to start prototyping our comic book.

Spam
Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Great! Looking forward to seeing your first prototypes.

Spam
Photo of Karolle Rabarison
Team

Really like the idea of using stories / comic books to introduce and teach about this topic.

You mention that they would be distributed through NGOs and schools. Have you thought about how parents might also be involved?

Spam
Photo of Sofia Zafeiropoulou
Team

Thanks for your comments Karolle!

We are thinking of involving parents and enabling them to attend the workshops so as to understand better how they should approach their children and how to make the most effective use of the comic strips.

Spam
Photo of Rafael Carabano
Team

The video we included gave us great inspiration to start building our first comic book for children between ages 3 to 6. We will teach them about their bodies, respect for themselves and for others. Stay tuned for Prateek and Anita!

Spam
Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Great to see you working on the prototype.