OWL Sexuality Education for 200 youth in the Philippines

OWL Sexuality Education for 200 youth in the Philippines

Crowdfunding Completed: October 2, 2015

Amount Funded: $8350

Project Owner: Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council (UUPCC)

Short Description of Project

This ground-breaking, 2-year OWL sexuality education program will be offered to about 200 UU youth in the Philippines and will train about 20 OWL teachers. Funded in part by a UU Funding Panel grant, the UU Partner Church Council is proud to co-sponsor and help raise the final $8000 needed to reach all youth ages 12 to 16 .

How was this project connected to UU?

For over four decades, our Unitarian Universalist Association and member congregations have been committed to making comprehensive sexuality education available to people of all ages everywhere. The UUA has invested heavily in the development of Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum materials, and has trained hundreds of OWL facilitators to ensure the curriculum is broadly available in as many of our UU congregations as possible, and beyond to communities, schools, prisons, and more. The UUPCC works with the UUA International Office and UU congregations in North America to engage with partners in the Philippines. Given these established networks and relational connections, the UUPCC is uniquely positioned to help UUCP bring this OWL program to the young people there.
This project involves bringing the OWL program to the youth in the communities of the Philippines by way of the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council (UUPCC) and its congregation partners in the U.S. and Philippines. The UUPCC has been closely linked to the UUA and its International Office, with a vision that clearly reflects its commitment to extending the reach and impact of Unitarian Universalism in the wider world: We envision a worldwide Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist community that promotes peace, justice, and liberty for all, supported by partnerships that are integral to congregational life.

Full Description of Project

The UU Church of the Philippines (UUCP) is taking a daring step towards youth development by offering Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education for all UU teens and young adults over the span of two years. The initial offering of OWL will be in December 2015 for youth ages 12-16 years old.

The total budget for this OWL program is nearly $35,000, which includes the training for about 20 trainers and 200 youth ages 12-16. The UU Funding Panel has provided the maximum grant funding they give - $21,000. Partner churches and individuals have already committed an additional $5,000+. So that all 200 youth can participate in this vital program, we are asking for your help to raise the remaining $8,000.

If additional funds cannot be raised, only half the number of youth will be able to attend the trainings being offered. Your contribution will help make the difference!

UUPCC, in partnership with UUCP and partner churches, is committed to full funding of this project. We need your help. Your gift no matter how small, will go directly toward OWL education for youth and young adults.

For December 2015, organizers expect approximately 200 UU youths ages 12-16 years old to attend the OWL assembly for 5 days & 6 nights. There will be UUA & UUCP OWL facilitators as well as local sexuality educators. Local coordinators will organize and conduct the youth assembly.

In the Philippines, young people—particularly the UU youth--face many challenges: teenage pregnancy, violence, increasing incidence of HIV/AIDS, and the effects of extreme poverty that prevent youth from making healthy choices and completing their education.

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Poverty is widespread in the country, and our fellow UUs are the poorest of the poor. The vicious cycle of poverty never seems to stop, but providing comprehensive sexuality education by offering the OWL program will help. The Philippine Unitarian Universalists urgently need the support of their wider UU community to provide this vital OWL education for their youth and young adults.

It is an increasing trend for poor teenage Filipina girls to marry much older American or European men without adequate knowledge and understanding of the risks and cultural differences. Too often these young women and their families think this is the way out of poverty. As a result, many of these girls are abused or become victims of human trafficking. Gay and lesbian youth also face bullying for their sexual identities.

The incidence of teen pregnancy has risen 70% over the past decade, according to Ugochi Daniels of the United Nation Fund for Population Agency. Ugochi recommends the establishment of a strong advocacy campaign to educate and advise young Filipinas about the dangers posed by pregnancy at a young age.

Many Philippine students cannot finish school due to unplanned pregnancy. Inevitably, the young women become single mothers and must leave school to work and care for their children. There is a vital need for these young people to understand their sexuality, how to make healthy decisions about their sexual activity, and how to talk to a sexual partner.

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In addition, the in the number of cases of HIV/AIDS in the country is alarming. It is one of only two countries in Asia, and one of the seven globally, where the number of new HIV cases has increase by 25% from 2001 to 2009. Unprotected sex has been the primary mode of transmission.

Rev. Rebecca Quimada-Sienes shares this compelling message when encouraging individual UU donors and grant funders to support the project:

“This is an investment--never a liability--because there is a great need to preserve the lives of our youth, for they are the future of our faith.”

Please join us in making Our Whole Lives in the Philippines a reality for all 200 youth by making a generous pledge to this Faithify campaign today—Maraming salamat po! Thank You!