Expanding Access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education: an AMAZE-ing Story

AMAZE

IPPF Africa Regional Office (ARO) seeks to enable young people to access Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and realize their sexual rights. We focus on expanding access to quality comprehensive sexuality education across the continent through our Member Associations (MAs) and through mutually beneficial partnerships.

AMAZE is an initiative of three non-profit organizations working in the field of youth sexual health and CSE: Advocates for Youth, Answer, and Youth Tech Health (YTH), implemented in collaboration with partner organizations around the world. AMAZE harnesses the power of digital media to provide young adolescents (ages 10-14 years) with medically accurate, age-appropriate, affirming, and honest sexuality education that they can access directly online.

AMAZE has recorded over 50 million views on YouTube to date, won multiple film awards and recorded increased demands from teachers in times of Covid-19. With over 160 short, animated videos covering a wide array of topics from puberty to reproduction and relationships, AMAZE harnesses the power of YouTube, answering questions young people have regarding these topics. In addition to a YouTube channel, AMAZE features a comprehensive website, with information and resources not just for young people but also for parents, educators, and healthcare providers.

Through the Global Affairs Canada Centre of Excellence project, IPPF ARO is adapting two videos in collaboration with the MAs of Togo - Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial (ATBEF), Cameroon National Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW), and Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille (ABPF) in Benin. The videos that talk about puberty in boys and girls will be contextualized and dubbed to French from their original language, English. This, to reach a bigger number of youth in the continent. This process will look into language nuances, cultural contexts, accents and appropriate humor

To select the two videos, IPPF ARO reached out to members of the Youth Action Movement (YAM) at ATBEF and CAMNAFAW  with five of the most popular AMAZE videos, based on YouTube views. The Youth Action Movement (YAM) is the youth arm of IPPF Africa Region's volunteer body based within the Member Associations (MAs), which catalyzes youth participation. Through a participative youth-led process, YAM members from ATBEF and CAMNAFAW viewed the five videos and ranked them by order of preference. They then proposed changes to the look and feel of the two videos in order to contexualize them to the Francophone context.  

Based on this feedback, IPPF ARO is now coordinating with its MAs, an Animator and AMAZE the adapting and dubbing of the two selected videos (ABPF is involved in this process). Adapted videos will then be piloted in-country with various stakeholders and feedback recorded.

IPPF ARO believes the adapted AMAZE clips will act as conversation starters for CSE as they will be used by teachers to talk about puberty for in-school youth; CSE educators, facilitators and peer educators to facilitate community dialogue and acceptance of CSE; and by IPPF ARO MAs to lobby for CSE for in and out of school children. As an example, ATBEF has announced that they will integrate the adapted AMAZE clips onto their CSE online platform and InfoAdoJeunes App.

As IPPFARO continues to seek out new and innovative ways to expand access to quality CSE, collaboration with AMAZE will provide avenues for young people, through our MAs, to interact with CSE materials through various digital media and platforms.

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