You Are Challenged: Make Change Happen NowA message from Lauren Amabile and the Unitarian Universalist Church Council, asking you to respond before the end of this month. Greetings, Unitarian Universalist Blue Boat Friends!
I am writing to let you know about a really important and daring step the UU Church of the Philippines (UUCP) is taking towards youth development by offering Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education for all Unitarian Universalist teens and young adults over the span of two years. The initial offering of OWL will be in December 2015 for youth ages 12-16 years old.
The total budget for this OWL program is over $33,000, which includes the training for about 20 trainers and 200 youth ages 12-16. The Unitarian Universalist Funding Panel has provided the maximum grant funding they give – $21,000. Partner churches and individuals have already committed an additional $4,000. If the additional funds are not raised, only half the number of youth will be able to attend the training.
Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council (UUPCC), in partnership with UUCP and partner churches, is committed to full funding of this project. We need your help. Your gift no matter how small, will go directly toward OWL education for youth and young adults.Your support will help make the difference! Sincerely, Laurel Amabile, on behalf of the UU Partner Church Council www.uupcc.org READ WHY OWL TRAINING IN THE PHILIPPINES IS SO IMPORTANT:
In the Philippines, young people—particularly the UU youth--face many challenges: teenage pregnancy, violence, increasing incidence of HIV/AIDS, and the effects of extreme poverty that prevent youth from making healthy choices and completing their education.
Poverty is widespread in the country, and our fellow UUs are the poorest of the poor. The vicious cycle of poverty never seems to stop, but providing comprehensive sexuality education by offering the OWL program will help. The Philippine Unitarian Universalists urgently need the support of their wider UU community to provide this vital OWL education for their youth and young adults.
It is an increasing trend for poor teenage Filipina girls to marry much older American or European men without adequate knowledge and understanding of the risks and cultural differences. Too often these young women and their families think this is the way out of poverty.
As a result, many of these girls are abused or become victims of human trafficking. Gay and lesbian youth also face bullying for their sexual identities.
The incidence of teen pregnancy has risen 70% over the past decade, according to Ugochi Daniels of the United Nation Fund for Population Agency. Ugochi recommends the establishment of a strong advocacy campaign to educate and advise young Filipinas about the dangers posed by pregnancy at a young age. Many Philippine students cannot finish school due to unplanned pregnancy. Inevitably, the young women become single mothers and must leave school to work and care for their children. There is a vital need for these young people to understand their sexuality, how to make healthy decisions about their sexual activity, and how to talk to a sexual partner.
In addition, the in the number of cases of HIV/AIDS in the country is alarming. It is one of only two countries in Asia, and one of the seven globally, where the number of new HIV cases has increase by 25% from 2001 to 2009. Unprotected sex has been the primary mode of transmission.
Please join in making Our Whole Lives in the Philippines a reality for all 200 youth by making a generous pledge to this Faithify campaign today!
—Maraming salamat po! Thank You!