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Health education class at Wesley College
This story is about my experience of volunteering at a health education class organized by Humanitarian Service Organization (HSO). It was a Tuesday night and after several weeks of procrastination, I finally decided to go see what HSO was all about. HSO had planned a health education class, and given the importance of health/sex education for children (something I never got growing up in India), I decided to volunteer for the health education class the next morning. We met at 8AM the next day, excited and anxious about the day ahead. As I sat on the bus, I was nervous since the school we were going to had a reputation for being one of the rougher schools in Grenada. At the same time I was excited at the opportunity to interact with the kids and do something meaningful for Grenadians. We got to the school and were waiting outside for the class to begin when I asked one of the guards (yes, the school had guards) for some water. He graciously got me some bottled water and refused to accept money for it. The day was off to a pleasant start. Now it was time to get started with the class. We were outnumbered, with the 7 of us vs about 30 students. Meera, the group leader, started the presentation by talking about the importance of hygiene. As the class got rowdy, Meera quickly shot them down. Turns out that Meera could probably have handled all of the kids and then some just by herself. As one of my fellow volunteers later pointed out, he was shaking in his shoes when Meera was taking charge of the classroom. Next I and another volunteer talked to the kids about Mental Health, and had some wonderful back and forth discussion with the students. Next on the agenda was sex education. We passed out the pictures of the different sexually transmitted infections to the class while giving them more information on the diseases. There were giggles and looks of horror on the kids faces as they passed the pictures around. Next, we split the class up into boys and girls and all the male members in our team stayed with the boys while the female members of our team took the girls to another class. The boys in the class were quite pleased with the fact that the girls had to shift to another room, while they did not have to get up. The next item on the agenda was to talk about contraception. We talked about the different forms of contraception available and explained the proper use of the different contraception methods. This was followed by a question answer period and we handed out surveys to be filled out by all of the boys. With the girls gone, there were a few smart aleck comments. However, most of the questions were earnest and we were able to have a frank and informative discussion on sexual health. This was probably the most important and rewarding part of the experience where we were able to have an open exchange with the kids about a subject which they might find hard to discuss with other adults such as their parents. It was time to leave after the Q&A session. As we were on our way back, one of the boys gave Meera a rose, no doubt swept off his feet by the ass whooping he got earlier. On the bus, all of us were pleased with the day's events and the quality of the discussion with the students. Our discussion with the students, and the results of the survey clearly highlighted the need for more such classes. To whom it may concern: I've always believed that prevention is way better than treatment. I believe that being able to prevent future issues simply by speaking with, and informing, the students of Grenada about certain preventable health issues, rather than treating them (and possible not being able to cure their ailment) was a smart move on the behalf of HSO. Going to Wesley College was one of the best and most rewarding experiences I have been able to have here at St. George's University. Thank you for allowing me to participate in the activity, and I plan on joining in with the experience for the rest of my terms here on campus.
Miss Austin Leialoha Howard
SGU, Student
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