‘Let’s Talk’ campaign goes local: five rayons engaged in the conversation

10 December 2019

More than 800 young people, parents, teachers, influencers, and local decision-makers from five rayons of Moldova were involved in Let’s Talk campaign during October-December 2019. They tackled taboos and stereotypes surrounding reproductive health and rights of young people and concluded that many unplanned pregnancies in adolescence and cases of sexual violence and abuses occur because of this.  ‘Let’s Talk’ events can shift attitudes and behaviors by speaking up openly about these issues, demystifying the myths, and underlying everyone’s role in making a change.

Let's Talk campaign at the local level started in Orhei rayon, on 30th October, 2019, with a public discussion around prevention of adolescent pregnancies and births. The journalist-vlogger Dorin Galben, who was one of the speakers at the national Lets' Talk event in Chisinau, moderated the discussion and presented his vlog to young people. "Videos about adolescent pregnancy and contraception are among the most viewed on my vlog, but least shared because people find it embarrassing to share such information," he said.

Vlogger Dorin Galben is moderating the public event in Orhei.

A health education teacher, a gynecologist from the local Youth Friendly Health Centre, and a psychologist from Chisinau further continued the conversation.

"I am aware of the story of a girl who got pregnant and didn't tell her mother about it until she was 15 weeks into pregnancy. Although the young couple decided to keep the baby and got married, many of their plans did not come true. This girl wanted to study, to have a career and establish a family later", said the gynecologist.

Ludmila Sirbu, Youth Programs Analyst at UNFPA Moldova, introduced the results of the first qualitative study entitled 'Adolescent Pregnancy in the Republic of Moldova,' carried out by the PAS Center with the support of UNFPA: 'In 2018, more than 2,800 adolescents from Moldova had an unplanned pregnancy. The study shows that young people continue to believe in contraception myths. For example, taking oral contraceptives increases muscle mass, cause weight gain, some girls saying they would rather get pregnant or whatever God's will be than taking the pill. Another myth is that condoms are not good quality if they are distributed free of charge at the youth-friendly health centers.'

Ludmila Sîrbu, UNFPA Programme Analyst on Youth

Psychologist Sergiu Toma urged young people to consult reliable sources of information and make the right choices.

"One of the myths I have heard often is that if the partner is older than the girl, he knows more, he has more experience and knowledge, and the girl is safe. This is not true. No young man has ever told me that they wanted to become parents at 16."

Psychologist Sergiu Toma (left) together with young people at Let's Talk event in Ungheni.

The health education teacher Larisa Ionascu debunked the myth that education on this topic equals early sexual activity. She said that the role of the school is vital in addressing these topics; therefore, the optional health education course, promoted in Moldova with UNFPA support, must be chosen by young people. 


'Health Education course includes modules on personal hygiene, sports, healthy eating, violence prevention. However, young people are most interested in sexual and reproductive health because it is a taboo subject at home. I talk to them about the risks of adolescent pregnancy, to help them make a conscious decision'. 


Health Education teacher, Larisa Ionascu


A similar format of the discussions continued in other rayons as part of Let's Talk campaign.


Cahul, Rezina, Falesti, and Ungheni were the other four districts involved in the conversation. 


"Let's Talk" event in Ungheni combated stereotypes related to sexual violence.

In Ungheni, the event was organized on 10th December, and addressed the topic of sexual violence in the context of '16 Days against gender-based violence campaign'. The UNFPA exhibit 'Don't blame the clothes' was arranged at the event and combated the stereotypes in this area. 


"Thank you for bringing up these critical discussions in our communities and for protecting our girls and boys from getting into risky behaviors. We need more events like this", said Silvia Apostol, the health education teacher from Rezina.


The Let's Talk events are part of the national 'Let's Talk' Moldova campaign, launched in Chisinau in September this year – a continuation of the first global 'Let's Talk' event in Antalya powered by famous philanthropist and model Natalia Vodianova.


Parents and young people are eager to talk openly about sexual and reproductive health issues.


In Moldova, Let’s Talk campaign is organized by UNFPA in partnership with media platform and sets as innovative communication tool to reach communities with essential life-skills information and demystify the taboos related to reproductive health and rights of people.


Demistifying taboos and stereotypes around sexual and reproductive health.