Marie Stopes International Australia

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Youth Radio

Straight Talk Foundation runs an innovative youth-run radio station that educates young people on the risks relating to unprotected sex and provides a fantastic example of how young people can be actively involved in promoting sexual and reproductive health.
Sexual health can be a sensitive topic and young people are often worried about the social stigma or embarrassment associated with discussing sex and contraception with relatives or partners.
The Ugandan civil society organisation, Straight Talk Foundation, has worked to spread awareness of sexual and reproductive health by offering young people advice on a weekly radio show. The show is presented by young Ugandans and broadcast in 13 different languages from the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

Straight Talk radio talks frankly about teen relationships and features interviews with young men and women, asking about their experiences and opinions on sex, contraception, pregnancy and relationships. Listeners can also call in and ask questions, with many being referred to Marie Stopes Uganda for more information or services.

As elsewhere in Africa, FM radio remains one the most popular forms of media, so Straight Talk radio is a great way of reaching large numbers of young people in a discreet manner.

By broadcasting frank sexual health discussions between young people, the radio show gives young Ugandans information they can identify with and understand, helping inform them of the options available to them. This is crucial in a country where myths and taboos around reproductive health can be real obstacles to young people accessing services.

Straight Talk radio is a great example of how we can engage young people to help us raise awareness of sexual and reproductive healthcare in hard-to-reach youth communities. By involving young people in our work, we can expand our delivery channels and improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable young people.

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