Raising awareness for relationships and sexuality amongst young people with a disability and their community.
The Body Talk program runs in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia and is implemented by the Liliane Fonds, together with Rutgers, NLR Indonesia, Research Centre for Inclusion and Norfil Foundation. Body Talk aims to provide support to children and youngsters with a disability in their sexual development so they can enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Topics around sexuality, sexual development and relationships are often not discussed with young people with a disability. It is hardly discussed at home, there is little to no attention for sexuality education at school, and healthcare providers do not learn how to support young people with disabilities in their sexual development and can’t accommodate their diverse needs or answer their questions.
Sexuality as a natural part of life or an expression of love is not recognized for people with disabilities. It is generally assumed that young people with a disability cannot be good parents or spouses, do not have sexual wishes or desires and are not able to fall in love. As a result, people who should empower young people with disabilities, consciously or unconsciously, deny them the essential right to sexual and reproductive health. Body Talk aims that young people with disabilities understand their sexual and reproductive rights, are able to stand up for those rights and are able to make informed decisions on aspects concerning their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
We do so by not only targeting young people with disabilities themselves. Health care providers, teachers, parents, caregivers, community leaders and community based rehabilitation workers have a role to play too. The Body Talk program will develop a training guideline for the target groups mentioned above, based on the complementary expertise of the consortium partners. In each country, a team of master trainers will be trained that will roll out the guideline with accompanying tools in order to ensure that people are trained to support young people with disabilities in their sexual development in school, at home and in the health care centers.
Working with and for young people
In this project, young people with disabilities themselves play an important role: they are experts by experience and ambassadors for the rights of young people with a disability. We also collaborate with them on the development of materials. Through Body Talk, we share materials and knowledge with our regional and international network too, so more young people with disabilities worldwide can benefit from this approach.
Objectives & results
- Young people with disabilities have more knowledge about their SRHR, are trained as peer-educators and advocates and have a positive self- and body image;
- Parents, caregivers, health care providers and teachers have more knowledge and understanding of SRHR and can support children and young people with disabilities in their sexual development;
- Communities respect, accept and recognize that young people with disabilities are sexual beings with their own needs and desires;
- Developed resources, publications and tools are widely shared by the consortium, so others can learn how to meaningfully engage young people with disabilities in SRHR and intentionally make SRHR programs, policies and research inclusive.
Zero Project 2023
The Body Talk program is selected as an innovative practice awardee of the Zero Project 2023 by the Essl Foundation. Through its annual conference, happening from 22-24 february 2023 in Vienna, the Zero Project disseminates and promotes replicable and innovative solutions for the problems that persons with disability face.
In addition to this award, Body Talk was selected as one of the few international programs to participate in the Zero Project Impact Transfer Program for 2023. Via the program, organisations are prepared to develop their programs into business models for worldwide application on local levels.
Are you interested to learn more about the program and the materials used? Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.