Tea & Dignity

September 9th, 2015

Chatham Street, Arcade Independence Square, Negombo Beach

Business as a Matter of Human Service

The Women's Development Programme of the MJF Charitable Foundation organized a workshop aimed at creating awareness on the subject of sexual and reproductive health at the MJF Centre in Moratuwa in July, 2015. The half-day program conducted by Dulitha Harsha and Ruvani Jayalath, facilitators of Y-PEER Sri Lanka, was attended by 40 women who are beneficiaries of the regular cookery, sewing, gardening and life skills classes held at the Centre.

Y-PEER Sri Lanka is a nation wide network of peer educators and youth advocates committed to distributing knowledge on sexual and reproductive health, and the importance of establishing sexual rights for young people, women, marginalized communities etc. in Sri Lanka. The workshop and discussions facilitated by Y-PEER, together with the Foundation, was an eye opener to the women who participated, as they were made aware of the sexual and reproductive health issues faced by disadvantaged communities, a subject that has thus far been taboo to them.

The session also brought to light the lack of accurate and scientific knowledge on SRHR (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) and the limitations of services and information regarding SRHR, as seen by the incomprehensive sex education and gender-unaware syllabuses at schools. The facilitators further discussed the importance of having the freedom to exercise the basic human rights pertaining to sexual health and reproduction, family planning, contraception and the awareness of one's own body, and how it links to a balanced and relaxed physical and mental state and a person's overall wellbeing.

"We learned a lot of new things and updated our knowledge on sexual health and reproduction," said a participant of the workshop. "We were also made aware of the importance of spreading accurate information among the communities regarding SRHR and why we should discuss these matters with our own children without being ashamed of it. We are extremely grateful to the MJF Charitable Foundation for continuing to organize such productive programs that will surely benefit the women of our community," she added. To learn more information regarding the MJF Charitable Foundation, please visit www.mjffoundation.org.

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