Press Release

New initiative in Moldova: UNFPA promotes reproductive health and rights in vocational schools

14 June 2018

Chisinau, 12 June 2018 „Health Education - My Right, My Choice” - this is the message sent out by hundreds of young girls and boys enrolled in a vocational school in Chisinau, the Centre of Excellence in Light Industry, who have been involved in a creative project launched by UNFPA, the Y-PEER Network and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research.

 
Earlier this year, more than 400 students from this vocational school, mostly girls, participated in the „Girls tailor their healthy future” initiative, being informed by Y-PEER volunteers about healthy lifestyles, prevention of adolescence risks, abuses and unwanted pregnancies. In turn, the girls proved their talent and creativity by submitting slogans and designs for UNFPA promotional materials to be used in further awareness raising and advocacy activities for health education promotion.
 
We started this initiative with the aim to empower young people, girls and boys, to develop healthy life skills in addition to the professional skills they learn in the vocational training system. The healthy lifestyles that prevent violence, unintended pregnancies and diseases, are not only necessary and critical for the development of a young person, but also for having productive lives in the future. We hope to scale-up this initiative with the support of all partners to reach out to other vocational schools and centres of excellence and the private sector,Rita Columbia, UNFPA Representative in Moldova, said. 
 

"The objectives and purpose of this initiative are in line with the educational policies of the Ministry of Education. The right to health is a guaranteed right. This campaign will ensure the sustainability of the optional course "Decisions for a Healthy Lifestyle" offered currently in the VET system," Angela Cutasevici, State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, declared. 

 
The Vocational Education Training (VET) system currently enrolls more than 46,000 young people, 15-19 years of age. Many of them come from rural areas and from vulnerable families.

Alexandra Raeţchi, Director of the institution, noted: „In this way our students gained several benefits – they know how to protect their reproductive health, they improved their professional skills, and also made savings for purchasing fabrics and accessories, which they needed for the internship.”

 
As part of „Girls tailor their healthy future” initiative, students from the Centre of Excellence in Light Industry were involved in a competition for the best slogan and best design of promo materials (T-shirts and handbags), which they later produced during practical training in the school’s workshops.
 
 
The best design of the promo-bag was developed by group no. 311. Emilia Carauş, the group's representative, thanked the organizers for the opportunity to express themselves in a different way. "I think these kinds of activities are necessary in technical vocational education, because we get to know ourselves better."

Group no. 14 was awarded for providing the best slogan: "Health Education - My Right, My Choice".

The winners received diplomas and hygienic kits provided by UNFPA and a private company, which supported the initiative.

The awards were presented by representatives of the UN in Moldova, the Embassy of Germany, the Austrian Development Agency and the Embassy of Sweden in the Republic of Moldova, which motivated and inspired the young people.

The initiative to promote reproductive health and rights is to be expanded in other vocational institutions, with UNFPA as the main partner advocating for this priority educational area for a healthy and harmonious development of all adolescent girls and boys in Moldova.