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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
23 18

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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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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!

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!

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!

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