Over three hundred young people attended this year’s Valentine’s Day activity which has now become an annual event at Action Health Incorporated’s Youth Center in Lagos.
As usual, the event was celebrated with an entertainment-education package. The package focused on teaching the skills for abstaining from sex and how not to put oneself in a risky situation.
Participants at this educational event were informed about the different myths surrounding Saint Valentine’s Day and were educated on the attendant risks and consequences of celebrating this day by engaging in risky behavior as generally done. The educational session stressed the need to abstain from early, unplanned and unprotected sexual activity.
The adolescents themselves showed their understanding of the advantages of abstaining, as a group of them came forward to render a beautiful song they had composed, titled “Adopt abstinence.” One of the female adolescents came out while the song was being rendered and demonstrated with the use of body language, the right way to assert oneself when saying “NO” to sexual pressures. Another female participant from Sherpherdhill Girls High School, Obanikoro, rendered a rap song on what Action Health Incorporated is all about and the advantages of being a member of the Health and Life Planning Club.
Other activities conducted during the celebrations to help young people clarify their values about sexual activity included a “Questions & Answers” Session following a story titled, “My Memories of Valentine’s day”. The story was about a girl who went out on a date with her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day, but ended up having unplanned sexual intercourse with him.
The second activity aptly titled, “Rack Your Brain” consisted of ten questions which the participants were required to answer. The questions focused on concerns some young people have about growing up and relationships. After they had answered the questions the adult facilitators used the opportunity to correct the myths and misconceptions many of them had about these issues.
Adults were also not left out of this year’s event. Well over twenty-five PTA Health Counsellors turned up at the Centre to participate in the day’s celebration. While the young people’s event was going on, the adults took part in a video playback and discussion session. The film shown was titled, “Broken Wings” by Uche Amazigo. The film addresses the issues of parent-child communication among other things.