Youth Counseling on Sexual Reproductive Health
Nicaragua has the highest adolescent fertility rate in Latin America. Approximately half of Nicaraguan women give birth before age 20. The consequences of early childbearing can include higher risks of pregnancy complications and maternal mortality and increased rates of infant mortality and malnutrition.
To address the need for teen knowledge on sexuality and healthy decision-making and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA) goals of improving maternal health and reducing the mortality rate among children under 5 years, Clínica Verde launched a partnership with TeenSmart International in 2014, which has since evolved to be an independent program to train peer counselors and provide adolescents with the knowledge and skills needed to make responsible and safe decisions about their sexuality and postpone sexual activity to reduce the prevalence of early pregnancy.
The Clínica Verde TeenSmart program taught me how to help other young people create a life plan for themselves. Going through the course gave me the confidence to talk about the themes of sexual reproductive health. I also was able to put into practice habits that I learned through the program: responsibility, working in a team. It’s increased my desire to serve. I feel like I have a greater commitment to myself to make good decisions about my future. I’m an example to other young people and friends because I talk to them about the obligation to protect ourselves and to not make life choices that we are unprepared for.”
–Dayana Reyes, 15, Teen Peer Counselor