TeenGen is a venue to gather, mobilize, and identify potential activists to be part of the broader youth movement that is engaged in addressing HIV issues and upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Both Youth LEAD’s Capacity Needs Assessment among Adolescents from Key Populations in Three Countries Report and in UNICEF’s Under the Radar Report highlights the urgent need to refocus the attention of addressing the epidemic and include adolescents in the response. In 2015, UNICEF together with partners launched the All In to End Adolescent AIDS Strategy that aims to reduce new HIV infections among adolescents by at least 75%, reduce AIDS-related deaths among adolescents by at least 65%, and eliminate discrimination among adolescent key populations. Youth LEAD believes that one of the key ways to achieve this is to build the leadership capacity of adolescents, particularly adolescent key populations, to ensure meaningful engagement, and to enable adolescents to advocate with program planners and policymakers on issues that matter to them.
TeenGen training course is based on a three-day consultation writeshop in August 2016 conducted by the Youth LEAD Secretariat and led by Jeffry P. Acaba. Eight master youth trainers and adolescents including from those key populations from six countries, namely, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, and Thailand, met in Bangkok, Thailand for a three-day writeshop. The result is the leadership training course presented in this manual – TeenGen – a leadership course for adolescents. The course is similar to Youth LEAD’s flagship leadership program, NewGen, but has been adapted for younger participants. TeenGen aims to build the knowledge and skills of adolescent key populations on HIV, leadership, and human rights. Specifically, this training has the following specific objectives:
To establish and build adolescents’ awareness and understanding of their rights
To build the leadership, negotiation, and communication skills of adolescents from key populations
To provide adolescents from key populations with information on HIV and other sexual and reproductive health issues and skills to improve their health-seeking behaviors
This leadership course envisages augmenting Youth LEAD’s leadership building activities as we reach adolescents from key populations aged 13 to below the age of 18 years. As young people from key populations grow and age, Youth LEAD recognizes the need to build the capacity of younger activists and build their capacity at an earlier age, which will help sustain and expand the youth movement in Asia and the Pacific. TeenGen will become the venue to gather, mobilize, and identify potential activists to be part of the broader youth movement that is engaged in addressing HIV issues and upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This will also enable Youth LEAD to expand its network and reach at the country level.