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School Ambassadors

Trained students in sex education to help their peers

Photo of Beto
5 1

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Opportunity Areas – Select those that apply

  • Other

What specific problem(s) are you trying to address? (300 character limit)

There’s no clear agenda for sex-ed in developing countries, whether at schools or at home. Due to this, most people rely on the internet for their information which tends to be unreliable, and also feel too uncomfortable to ask someone they aren’t close to.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address? (500 character limit)

Are they embarrassed that they will be recognized? Are there social hierarchies that prevent them from asking personal questions? These all affect the way we want to structure our program - how do we want students to be able to interact with these ambassadors?

Who are your end users? (1000 character limit)

Middle school students (11-13 years) and High school students (usually between the ages of 14-19) of any sexual orientation. These users are entering a stage where they or their friends may start becoming sexually active and have a lot of questions not just about sex, but about relationships or bodily changes. They may be anywhere on a spectrum ranging from confused and stressed, to just curious and unsure of where to get information. They may be in societies that tend to be more conservative, but may also be in situations where they do not feel comfortable enough to ask a teacher or parent. This last point has come up frequently in reflections we have shared of our personal high school experience, but also with the young people we had talked to. There seems to be a sentiment of “they are so far removed from my experience”, “it feels weird to talk to them because sex is so personal and I don’t want them to know that much about my life”.

Explain your idea. (500 character limit)

Based on the idea that students feel uncomfortable to ask people who are older or people in positions of “power”, our program would allow them to talk to familiar people their age. We would train students (throughout the year) who have demonstrated an interest in the program topics not just relating to sex, but also of well-being, and how these issues may be very intertwined. We would also provide them with materials to other students who they think may benefit from them.

What is your value proposition? (500 character limit)

A program that is discreet and thus allows young people to feel comfortable enough to talk to someone about their problems. The danger of receiving unreliable information is removed through purposeful and holistic training supplemented with engaging materials that student ambassadors can distribute. The greatest value is the ease with which a student can go to a peer to ask questions.

What's different about your idea compared to current solutions? (500 character limit)

The traditional classroom setting might be too impersonal and not address specific situations that a reliable person can. Adding a face to face human element will help alleviate that problem. The ambassadors are provided with supplementary material like comics, visual diagrams and games which they can pass on to the other students.

What are the key reasons why end users would turn to your organization over another?

  • Convenience / Accessibility: Making products accessible

What would success look like for your end users? (500 character limit)

- Discrete, private, trustworthy face-to-face interactions with a knowledgeable person that is known to them. - Guidance in particular issues about sex, puberty, friendships, gender identity. - Constant availability of a trustful source.

How would you measure the impact your idea has on your end user(s) ? How will you measure the success of your program? (500 character limit)

Our overall goal is that students begin to feel more comfortable and informed in issues relating (but not necessarily directly) to sexual health. Our primary medium of distributing information and determining the success of our program is a student ambassador. Topics we would ask them about to relay progress on include school bullying (especially as it pertains to sexuality), teen pregnancy and STI rates (if they are in schools with high incidences of teen pregnancy, how has the rate decreased).

What strategies will/are you testing to acquire end users? (300 character limit)

First, teacher recommendations for students to be involved. Then the ambassadors implement a word-of-mouth marketing strategy to inform their friends. Teachers then inform their class about the program, while concealing the ambassadors’ identity, to increase students’ desire to learn more.

Key partnerships - Who will you partner with to make your idea work? (500 character limit)

Our program depends greatly on the training that we provide to the ambassadors. Thus, we will partner with various health professionals, including psychologists, gynecologists, and psychiatrists, to create a holistic curriculum with which we would train the student ambassadors. In order to find schools, we would have to approach school boards. We might also work with local NGO’s to create publicity and to find funding.

What is your organization’s name? (150 character limit)

Bridge

Tell us more about you: (750 character limit)

Alberto: Graduate student in Management of Technology from Peru Asher: Graduate student in Integrated Digital Media from the United States. Berrak: Social and Consumer Psychology student from Turkey Isabel: Undergraduate student studying interdisciplinary studies from the Philippines Pratik: Graduate student in Integrated Digital Media from India

Organizational Characteristics

  • International/global organization

Where will your idea be implemented? (200 character limit)

Developing countries such as India, Turkey and Peru

What do you need to get started? (500 character limit)

We would need to first approach schools and have a pilot program to have a larger sample size. If it is something that students want, we, along with the health professionals, need to develop the training program for the ambassadors. The training will need to be tailored for each gender, age, and demographic so that each ambassador will know how to properly relay, or provide, information based on their students needs.

What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?

  • It is still in planning phase and does not exist yet.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • No, not yet.

Expertise in Sector

  • I've not yet worked in a sector related to my idea but am excited to learn more.

Organization Location (200 character limit)

New York City

What is your organizational status?

  • We are not formally registered but are a formal initiative through a school / university.

What is the maturity of your innovation?

  • Early Stage Innovation: I am exploring my innovation, refining, researching, and gathering inspiration.

Website

We currently have no website.

5 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi Beto and team I love the peer-to-peer approach. You might want to check this idea: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/youth-srh/ideas/empowering-very-young-adolescents-in-madagascar-to-make-healthy-and-informed-sexual-health-decisions-from-puberty-into-adulthood

Check also the model of the Bhatkapur Youth Club. I really like it: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/youth-srh/research/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-srhr-for-all

You could imagine connecting with another organization to see how you could pilot your idea. Pushpa Joshi what do you think of this idea? Can you see this implemented in Nepal?

Check also Anne Gildea idea https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/youth-srh/ideas/neighborhood-peer-supporters the peer-to-peer model is similar to your approach.

Last, as for your other idea I recommend you create a user experience map to help you refine the users' experience: https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/5c28e26a-ba7f-44f4-859b-e82658264287.pdf

This will help you refine your idea and also develop personas and scenarios which I found to be very useful in conveying an idea. See below two examples of ideas using scenarios:


https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/e-waste/concepting/neighbourhood-e-waste-champion
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/ideas/rise-recycling-food

Looking forward to the next steps.

Photo of Beto
Team

Thanks for the comment.
I can see that Projet Jeune Leader with its Youth leaders has proven success. Our approach, however, is empowering the same school students.

Regarding the "Neighborhood Peer Supporters", as we would be developing the support and training material, it is a great idea to have it in a digital format so it can be accessed through mobile phones.

We are going to have our user experience map attached soon.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Beto! I will definitely connect your idea to the Project Jeune Leader and ask them for feedback on your idea and if they could see incorporating your model in their current program.

Looking forward to seeing your experience map and seeing how your idea evolves.

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