“Never think that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can’t change the world.” – Margaret Mead
The youth of today are confused and in need of direction and guidance. Unfortunately however, the older generation has gotten tired of understanding the youth. This can be attributed to the fact that different times create different people, and with that, differences in opinion. We are a far cry from what our parents and grandparents once were when they were our age.
Due to this glaring difference, nagging and flinging reminders at the young has become the norm. Tired of hearing the same old song, the youth have started to explore the world without being fully aware of the risks and how their actions can scar their young minds. Due to curiosity, family conflicts or peer pressure, teenagers have started to try their hand at gangsterism, pre-marital sex, and drugs, all of which adults shouldn’t even dabble in.
Sadly, such risky behavior causes them to experience a wide range of consequences.
With the rise of this situation, the very heart and soul of the Adolescent Reproductive Health Peer Education Club (ARHPEC) was born. Banking on the fact that today’s youth frequently opens up to one’s peers rather than to one’s parents, elders or guardians, City High has been trying its best to help misguided high school teens by giving each student the opportunity to have a one-on-one talk with a peer educator. Composed of some thirty to fifty young, committed and trustworthy students volunteers spearheaded by Ms. Gina Huevos, the ARHPC is composed of elected officers and volunteer members who have passed the recruitment process done yearly.
Once part of the group, members are taught to master and learn “CCTV” by heart. The first “C” stands for commitment to the club and one’s responsibilities towards it. The second “C” refers to confidentiality, which means that whatever is shared in confidence should be kept secret. “T” means being trustworthy and “V” stands for volunteerism, which equates to the desire to work wholeheartedly for the club.
In addition to this, a peer educator should also be a “GE” or a good example. That is, one should be a role model so as to gain the trust of other students. After all, a club composed of people who cannot control themselves will not become a successful organization.
Students in the ARHPEC don’t join the club to gain something in the end—they simply want adolescents like themselves to be informed about the things they need to know. If being a peer educator was only all about popularity, these passionate students would probably be joining school-wide pageants or similar events instead. These students wouldn’t be going out of their way to spend their time on fellows students in need. For ARHPEC peer educators however, helping others by lending an ear or saying a kind word, is time well spent.
However, it is not without its own set of challenges.
Contrary to what people think, being a peer educator is not an easy job. One has to counsel another and carry their woes while helping them see the beauty of life despite the cruelty of the world we live in. It is similar to stacking another sack of rice on top of the one you’ve been carrying. It is a task that not everybody is ready and willing to do.
Nevertheless, the ARHPEC continues to reach out to more students who need guidance and direction. This is as helping misguided youth find their path and educating people about adolescent reproductive health is what the Adolescent Reproductive Health Peer Educator’s Club (ARHPEC) of Davao City National High School (DCNHS) is most passionate about.