UNESCO in partnership with Lifeline Childline Namibia will host series of parent child communication (PCC) workshops for parents/caregivers and adolescents and young people in the Hardap region. The workshops will target100 parents/caregivers and 120 adolescents and young people (10 -19 years) from four settlements in Hardap region namely; Mariental, Gibeon, Kalkrand and Aranos.
The objectives of the workshops are
- To equip parents/ guardians and other caregivers with skills to conduct home-based conversations about sexual and reproductive health and rights with their children.
- To empower adolescents and young people to have an open communication with their parents/caregivers about sexuality and SRHR.
The “Our Talks” programme is developed is to support families as they increase their communication about sexuality, sexual health and behaviour within the family environment. The programme approaches parent/child communication through sessions with adolescents and young people, sessions with parents, and sessions with adolescents, young people and parents together.
Communication between parents and their children regarding sexual health and safer sexual behaviour creates a protective effect. In a sense, the greater the communication between the adolescent and their parent, the greater the likelihood that they would partake in healthier sexual behaviors, such as delayed sexual debut, or condom use. The challenge, therefore, rests in the ability of parents to effectively communicate with their children and for their children to feel comfortable taking on a role of empowerment and claiming responsibility for their own sexual and reproductive health and rights when talking with their parents. Barriers, including assumptions that PCC dialogue about sexuality and sexual health is deviant, stands in the way of this important element of SRHR learning.
The goal of this programme is to provide support for parents and other caregivers to reach across that cultural barrier and have home based conversations about sexuality with their children, adolescents and young people. Indeed, the long-term goal is not merely for the individual families associated with the programme to increase their communication, but for a cultural shift to happen where parents and families expect and value PCC around sexuality.