The program Tuesday’s Talks takes place every Tuesday from 3pm to 5pm at the Obama Center on the Abomey Calavi campus. This program is an initiative through the coordination of the Obama Center, accompanied by the African Network of United Nations Young Leaders (ROJALNU). Several organizations, NGO and associations have been invited and responded to the activity there. The Tuesday’s Talks primarily aims at mobilizing the youth about major themes of their generation and preparing them to face these issues.
The Tuesday’s Talks will go well beyond simple debates. For example, in the setting of International Earth Day, about 10 organizations will get together for a big clean-up on the campus of the University of Abomey-Calavi to create a friendly and more favorable setting for learning.
The first debate was preceded by a brief opening ceremony which enhanced its quality and image by the presence of youth organizations, and especially by the presence of the Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Abomey-Calavi - Dr. Souaibou Farougou who is in charge of International Cooperation, inter-university relations, and introduction. The Vice Chancellor, before officially launching the first session of Tuesday’s Talks, congratulated the organizers and all the represented youth organizations. He especially entrusted the youth with his huge satisfaction from their participation and reassured them of his total support to make this event a grand moment of debate on campus.
Sexual and Reproductive Health was the first theme approached. Dr. Joannie Bewa and Mr. Augustin Assaba are the communicators who directed and ran the first of the Tuesday’s Talks on April 12, 2016 with the participation from the youth associations, notably YPD, Cercle Social, the African Network of United Nations Young Leaders (ROJALNU), the Research Center against Cancer and Sickle Cell Disease (CRLD), AIESEC, Give1 Project, the VONOGE, the West African Network Youth Female Leaders (ROAJELF), the Scouts Branch of the University of Abomey-Calavi, World Merit, the Parliament of the Youth of Benin, and the Pan-African Organisation of Youths for African Integration (OPAJ-PIA). Agustin Assaba, expert on sexual health, launched the debates with the use of ICT for the promotion of Adolescents and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (SSRAJ). Following him, Dr. Joannie Bewa guided an informal discussion and without taboos with the participants about the important questions of sexuality and made clear responses to them. It was addressed the issue of dialogue between couples about important decisions and questions in concerns to family planning and the right and the liberty to use family planning strategies.
In general, the participants had been educated in the sense of responsible and consequent use of social networks. In the characterized context by the taboos around sexual and reproductive questions, it was interesting to remark the enthusiasm and fervor that the present youth were able to discuss without prejudice and preconceptions. This is equally to the honneur of the speaker Joannie Bewa who employed an anonymous and entirely free method of regrouping questions and concerns. We are particularly proud to contribute to such change, even though it is evident that work remains to knock down to achieve the complete destruction of barriers and taboos. This will be without doubt the starting point of a new era in terms of sex education.
At this time, we propose to set up a youth sex education initiative. This activity will aim at middle school students, high school students, and university students as well as a priority. With this, we will set up a calendar which will lead us to middle schools and high schools in the target area of Cotonou and around. We expect to keep youth in general on these issues about reproductive health and family planning.