The Education Bureau of Hong Kong first encouraged sex education in school as early as 1971, however, it has never been integrated as a part of the formal curriculum, but rather relegated to special assemblies or function days left to individual schools’ discretion. Students on average receive around three hours of sex education a year, according to a legislative council survey (2012 survey of 134 schools by the Legislative Council). During that time, 60% of students learn about HIV prevention while 80% learn how to use a condom. According to a Government Survey conducted between 2012 and 2013, 52% of all surveyed schools were too busy and had no time to offer this topic; 50% of schools did not treat it as an explicit learning objective; 75% of schools lacked documented policy and 74% teachers were not well equipped to teach sex education (ibid). In 2016, the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong conducted a Youth Sexuality Study with young people aged 12-18 and 18-27 years that revealed a low number of students with correct knowledge on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) topics but 85% of young females and males considered their knowledge as sufficient or very sufficient. While the magnitude of teenage pregnancies has not been adequately explored in Hong Kong, an estimated 4,700 females aged 15 to 24 faced crisis pregnancies in 2016 (BMC Public Health, 2021). A 2020 survey of Hong Kong high school students attests to a distressing trend in sexual harassment and sexting. 13% of student respondents admitted to sexually harass others, while 7.8% reported they had personally been sexually harassed. More than a quarter of respondents indicated receipt of sexting messages (ibid). The harassment was as high as 25% for university students (Equal Opportunities Commission, 2019). One of the root causes of sexual harassment is misconceptions about sex and relationship which have taken shape in teenage years.
Teen’s Key, founded in 2011, is dedicated to improving the well-being and SRHR of vulnerable young women and teenage girls from different backgrounds in Hong Kong, including those working in the sex industry. Teen’s Key runs different programmes:
1. For marginalised girls and young women working in the sex industry: providing them with counselling, HIV testing and/or career and life planning workshops to begin a new chapter in their lives, if they wish so,
2. For adolescent boys and girls (ages 12-18): providing them with workshops in schools on SRHR with the goals to improve their access to health and rights, to reduce gender-based violence, to promote gender equality and to build positive attitudes and behaviours around gender and SRHR,
3. For young mothers: providing them with leadership and life skills training to strengthen their capacities for their future career. With their programmes, the team strives to create a safe and non-judgmental space for sexuality education, life planning and counselling services. To date, the organisation has provided support, education, and services to over 10,000 teenage girls and young women in Hong Kong. Since 2012, they conduct trainings to the Hong Kong Police Force about sex workers’ safety.
They were the first all young women-led non-profit in the city, won the “With and For Girls Award” in 2015 and a finalist for the “Lion Rock People’s Choice Award” by the Sino group and the South China Morning Post in 2021.
EMpower's second grant to Teen’s Key builds knowledge and capacities on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of 188 young people 10-24 years old (8 Youth Mentors aged 20-24; 60 Youth Educators aged 15-24; 120 Youth Community members from the wider community aged 10-24). Teen’s Key engages with three tiers of participants – Youth Mentors, Youth Educators and Youth Community members, with a multiplier effect as each tier engages with the next, creating a mini ecosystem. The grant creates a team of peer educators and expand the reach of the programme through online platforms on SRHR issues that are dynamic and interactive. The programme has three components: 1. Enhancement of the SRHR website which was developed in our first grant; 2. SRHR workshops for Youth Educators via Youth Mentors, with Youth Educators in turn reaching out to Youth Community members, and 3. The establishment of a SRHR social media platform completing the SRHR website created under the first grant in meaningfully engaging young people in design and roll out of messages.
Primary Location: Hong Kong, China
Funded Since: 2021
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