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Since 1995, Aahung has used a rights-based approach to improve access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and services in Pakistan and create a healthy society.
Through capacity building and information dissemination, we focus on the creation of an enabling environment in Pakistan where people have comfort with their body, are practicing healthy behaviors and are able to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights. We have been successful in developing culturally informed strategies to respond to the sexual health needs of the population and in bringing attention to sexual health issues and concerns in medical and educational institutions, civic and government organizations across Pakistan.
At Aahung, we believe in a society that is just and free of gender-based discrimination. To achieve this, we work to empower children and adolescents to know their rights by implementing a Life Skills Based Education (LSBE) curriculum in our network of partner primary and secondary schools. This enables young people to understand their bodies, break down gender roles, and build confidence so they can make smart choices for themselves. We train teachers to deliver this education and engage parents so that adults can support the growth of young people.
We empower women and families by providing information and supporting them in making choices according to their reproductive health needs, and by improving the quality of the reproductive health services they receive.
System level change occurs by involving all stakeholders in society. We invest in partnerships with the government, non-government organizations, and the media to amplify our impact and messaging on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Pakistan so that we can create a more equitable society.
Aahung’s Life Skills Based Education (LSBE) program is a comprehensive curriculum, which introduces critical reproductive health information and management skills in line with the emerging capacity of children and adolescents.
In an environment where young people are not provided with timely information regarding their body, health and well being, our LSBE program supports young people in accessing such information in a safe environment.
Starting from the early primary school years, Aahung’s programs focus on body protection and child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention and critical skills in communicating discomfort and mistreatment. Building on this momentum, negotiation and conflict resolution skills are introduced to students in their middle school years, along with information on changes in the body during puberty and awareness about harassment and sexual abuse. As young people become more mature in their thinking, reproductive health topics such as HIV/AIDS, peer pressure, rights within the nikah nama, positive health seeking behaviors and the importance of planning a family are introduced and explored. The LSBE curriculum has a strong emphasis on exploring issues of gender and power as these are key concepts, which determine from an early age, reproductive health outcomes.
The LSBE program operates predominantly through school systems in which administrative decision makers, teachers and the school community, including parents, are sensitized on the need for LSBE for promoting the well being of young people.
We also engage with the youth in communities through partnerships with community-based organization using awareness raising activities such as theater performances, melas and mobile cinema campaigns.
The LSBE program is supported by the International Women’s Health Coalition and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.