Earlier in the year, after attending a series of training sessions on leadership, community organizing techniques and project design and execution, a group of ACJU Callejero leaders came up with several community improvement projects they wanted to implement. Since 6 out of every 10 women in Chimalhuacán who get pregnant are under 18 years old, one of these projects focused on preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among youth. During the summer, this sexual and reproductive health project was submitted to the Mexican Youth Institute (IMJUVE) where it was chosen from among thousands of applicants to receive grant funding.
In October the project came to fruition as the youth implemented a two-part workshops series in two different Chimalhuacán middle schools. A total of 405 middle school students participated in October, with another two local high schools lined up to receive the curriculum in November. The first session was a hands-on, participatory workshop where participants received information on STDs and their effects, unplanned pregnancies and the emotional consequences of early sexual activity. In the second workshop, participants received practical information on how to access available health resources in case of a suspected pregnancy or STD and a short training on setting life goals. Although it is impossible to measure the impact of this kind of project in the short-term, we believe that the youth received the straightforward, up-to-date information they need in order to help them make informed decisions about how to maintain healthy sexuality.