Trainings on sexual and reproductive health for youth with disabilities
- Liliane Foundation
- Country of Implementation
- Asia & Pacific
- Southeast Asia
- Start Year
- First published
“This training gives me the tools, knowledge, and skills to support young people with disabilities better.” Master Trainer, BodyTalk
Liliane Fonds, a foundation based in the Netherlands, has developed a project called BodyTalk in Viet Nam jointly with Rutgers, a Dutch expert centre on sexuality, and the Research Centre for Inclusion in Viet Nam. Launched in 2019, BodyTalk brings together young people with disabilities, their parents, teachers, communities, and health care providers. They discuss and try to understand the sexual needs of young people, and as a result to break taboos and change attitudes and practices. Between 2019 and 2022 some 600 youth with disabilities have benefitted from the programme.
Young persons with disabilities are often unaware of issues of sexual and reproductive health rights due to stigma and the lack of information.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
BodyTalk, a project led by Liliane Fonds together with the Dutch organization Rutgers and the Research Centre for Inclusion in Viet Nam, aims to address barriers that youth with disabilities face in understanding and making sexual and reproductive choices in Viet Nam. The project currently works with youth with sensory, visual, and intellectual disabilities. The project focuses on how to talk for and with youth with disabilities about sexuality from a rights perspective. To achieve this goal, BodyTalk has a two-staged approach: (1) on an organizational level it trains teachers, non-governmental organizations, and health workers; and (2) on an interpersonal level it works to train families, caregivers, and close community members. Topics include desires and boundaries and how to understand, recognize, express, and respect them – both their own and those of others. Between 2021 and 2022 the project trained 35 people to communicate about sexuality, which has benefitted over 600 youth with disabilities. In addition, the Ministry of Health has recognized the importance of BodyTalk and has issued a national action plan for 2020–2025 on sexual and reproductive health care for adolescents and youth.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
BodyTalk receives funding from Liliane Fonds. The total cost of the three-year project (2021–2023) for implementation and staff is €250,000. The cost for technical advisors and trainers for developing training materials and manuals and for providing the training is €200,000. Liliane Fonds also implements this programme in the Philippines and Indonesia and aims to reach 8,000 youth with disabilities in the three countries. Going forward, it hopes to expand to other countries as well.