Family planning is central to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and is a proven key factor in reducing poverty. Roatán Peer Health Exchange was created to spread awareness of the necessity of contraceptive and family planning for the entire island of Roatán, a region that currently has no form of reproductive health education within any of its nearly 80 schools, has the second highest incidence of AIDS in the country, and an alarming rate of teenage pregnancy, with nearly one half of women pregnant before age 20. By enabling women to delay pregnancy, avoid childbearing, or space births, effective family planning programs are not only fundamental to women’s health but also their upward mobility, advancing women’s education and economic self-sufficiency.
Our peer health curriculum emphasizes a rights-based approach to reproductive health care promotion and provision, empowering participants to make free, informed and voluntary decisions about their reproductive health and behavior. Youth ambassadors learn public speaking and leadership skills not often afforded to them merely because of their gender. Addressing uncommon reproductive health topics such as gender, sexuality, bullying, and domestic violence, we hope to promote the advancement of otherwise marginalized groups in Hondurans- women, LGBTQI, STD/HIV- infected persons, disabled to better the entire community.