It was a very surprising experience to see the snowfall in Istanbul that has broken a 28 years old record, but moreover to be part of the Technical Consultation on Healthy Life Style Education as a youth representative from Macedonia.
As a young person that is SRHR activist and passionate advocate on Comprehensive Sexuality Education the technical consultation was a great opportunity to meet international experts, but also to establish partnerships with the representatives from the country. In the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia there is an evidence of increasing recognition of the importance of the comprehensive sexuality education and The Technical Consultation on Healthy Lifestyle Education aimed not only to present those achievements, but also to identify the challenges and gaps that countries are facing with.
Setting the stage with a presentation about The Millennial generation- What does it mean to be growing up as a Millennial? was a perfect opening of the consultation process. The country working groups were a very good opportunity to discuss the “burning issues” when it comes to youth and sexuality education, but also to establish collaboration and to strengthen the communication with the experts from the country and together, to create recommendations in order to achieve the goal where every child and young person has the opportunity to live a healthy and meaningful life. There is no doubt that comprehensive sexuality education is a must!
Macedonia has made progress towards introducing comprehensive sexuality education through the Life Skills Education, but that is not enough for fully informed youth. Challenges towards implementation of the sexuality education are remaining the same as in the past years, a lot of discrepancies between the actual needs and implementation on the ground, because of lack of political support and lack of involvement of the stakeholders. There is an evident resistance towards comprehensive sexuality education among decision makers and also lack of evidence based data on the implementation of the life skills education in the country. I would like to underline that there is a emergent need to satisfy the demands from the teachers for more resources (teaching materials) and trainings on CSE.
There is always room for improvement and I am looking forward to a meeting were all key actors, guided by youth and their needs for sexuality education will be taken into account and implemented into activities on the ground.
Velimir Saveski, H.E.R.A. Macedonia