They visited the Kenya Ministry of Education, a youth-friendly health centre and two secondary schools. The Burundi delegation was impressed how CSE helps students:
- feel more comfortable discussing issues of sexuality;
- improve their relationships with friends, teachers and parents;
- understand that men and women are equal;
- say no to sex.
The visit was hosted by Centre for the Study of Adolescence (CSA). This Rutgers partner organisation is implementing the comprehensive sexuality education programme the World Starts with Me (WSWM) in schools in Kenya. K24, a national TV station in Kenya reported on the knowledge exchange between Burundi en Kenya in both English and Swahili.
In Burundi CSE is part of BIRATURABA! – It Concerns Us - a joint programme of CARE and Rutgers. BIRATURABA! wants to contribute to gender equality and to improve the sexual and reproductive health of young people in Burundi. This programme is financially supported by the Netherlands Embassy (EKN), as well as the exchange visit.
Burundi is in the top ten of countries with the youngest population. Young Burundians face serious challenges in addressing their sexual and reproductive health. Sex and sexuality are taboo subjects, contraception and family planning is frowned upon and schools lack a sexuality education curriculum. As a result there are many unintended pregnancies, often as a result of forced or transactional sex. The number of illegal and unsafe abortions is high.
WSWM is a rights-based comprehensive sexuality education programme for young people between 12 and 19 years old. The programme teaches boys and girls to understand and respect their own body and that of others. It empowers and supports young people to make safe and informed choices about their sexuality and reproductive health. WSWM is being used in 13 countries in both Africa and Asia.