As discussed and agreed during the high-level YPEER Coordination Meeting held at Gaedu College of Business Studies on 29-30 September 2018, the Youth Center Division of the Dept. of Youth and Sports, MoE conducted the YPEER orientation program for faculty-members and trainees of Khuruthang Technical Training Institute in Punakha yesterday. The orientation program was conducted to familiarize the staff and students of the Institute with the core mandates/functions and benefits of YPEER so that the YPEER Network based at the Institute can get full support from the Management while initiating and implementing the activities of the Network. Although the YPEER Network at the Institute was established in 2016, it was not able to do much. Therefore, this orientation program was organized to revive and strengthen the Network so that all young people within the Institute can lead a healthy and meaningful life.
As usual, the session started with a presentation on the brief background of DYS, MoE, its mandates and core functions. The participants were then introduced to the objectives and functions of Youth Center Division which looks after YPEER Bhutan and its Networks across Bhutan. The next session took the participants through the mandates, functions and benefits of YPEER in Bhutan.
YPeer Bhutan was set up in 2012 as part of the global network to advocate on sexual and reproductive health rights and promote healthy lifestyles in the communities through peer education. All the YPeer members are therefore peer educators who reach out to the wider society through their peers and educate the general public on how to lead a meaningful and healthy life. The 1st YPEER Network was established at Sherubtse College in Trashigang after which it was expanded to other colleges and Technical Training Institutes. Today, there are 28 Networks although some of them are not so active. These Networks are initiating numerous advocacy and training programs on issues related to SRHR for the benefit of young people. More importantly, the YPEER members are actively helping their friends cope with issues affecting their lives through peer-to-peer approach. Since youth are found to open up more easily with their peers, this approach is found to be very effective.
The presentation also covered the benefits of being a YPEER member such as having access to right information about SRHR, opportunities for availing training/professional development programs, and self development like greater self-confidence, effective communication skills, public speaking, etc.
After the orientation program, most of the participants acknowledged that being a YPEER member would be of great benefit to them since they would be able to gain a lot of new ideas, knowledge and skills to help themselves and their peers cope with issues affecting their lives.
The registered members of the Network will be attending the 2-day sensitization program today and tomorrow in the Institute.