Press Release

Help us prevent teenage pregnancy: young people express themselves through social theater

11 October 2018

October 11, ORHEI - A group of teenagers from several cities in Moldova, girls and boys, members of the Youth Educational Network Peer to Peer ”Y-PEER Moldova”, presented today, on the International Girls Day, a social theater play about preventing unwanted pregnancies during adolescence. The play, supported by UNFPA and produced and played by young people explores the topic of unwanted pregnancy and the need for health education among young people in Moldova.

 

"Through these kind of social theater plays as well as information sessions, we want to raise awareness among young people about adolescent risks as well as their prevention", says Galina Manole, Coordinator of Y-PEER.

 

The theater play is about the story of Alina and Andrei, two teenagers who fall in love and have their first sexual experience after a party organized by one of their classmates. Even though they both had good grades in school, they did not protect themselves, and soon after Alina discovered that she was pregnant. She wanted to talk to her mom, who unfortunately was too busy for that. Alina also tried to find support at school among her classmates and friends but was met with harsh reactions. Finally, the young girl ran away from home, something that served as a wake up call for both parents and teachers.

 

The case is representative among young people in Moldova, according to YPEER members. "Every year, there are around 3,600 unwanted teenage pregnancies and 2,500 of those girls give birth, not prepared for the drastic change in their lives. An unplanned birth in adolescence means an increased risk for physical and psychological health for both the mother and the child. It is important to prevent such situations, through family education, school and community, "says Galina Manole.

 

The social theater play, presented at the "Ion Luca Caragiale" secondary school in Orhei, has gathered dozens of students, teachers and parents from several districts. The show was followed by a discussion with those present in the room, and the views were different.

 

"What happened to Alina and Andrei can happen to any of us. I did not discuss such subjects with my parents until I became a Y-PEER member, "says Mihaela.

 

"I think we should visit a doctor or a psychologist from a youth-friendly health center to talk about sexual youth relationships," says Ana-Maria.

 

"The school should help us, but the " Education for Health " course is optional and reaches only a few pupils. I hope that the attitudes towards this topic will gradually improve and more attention will be paid to young people's health, "says Sorin, a teenager in the Balti city.

 

Ludmila Sîrbu, Youth Program Analyst at UNFPA Moldova, states that systematically taught school health education prevents risky teenage behaviors and their consequences such as sexually transmitted infectious diseases and pregnancies.

 

"It is a fact demonstrated and the examples of countries in the region provide us with a clear evidence. A recent study in Europe, including the countries of the former Soviet Union, showed that in those places where education for health is regularly taught in school, only six out of 1,000 girls aged 15-19 years give birht. While in the Republic of Moldova this figure is five times higher ".

 

The social theater play about the prevention of unwanted pregnancy in adolescence is in line with the community’s information and mobilization campaign "Education for health - my right, my choice", which takes place in 22 localities in Chisinau, Cahul, Orhei, Rezina and Falesti, being supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, UNFPA Moldova and the Embassy of the Netherlands.