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Advocates For Youth (Advocates) champions efforts that help youth make informed, responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. The organization believes strongly in both the right of young people to comprehensive, accurate reproductive and sexual health information and services, and in the power of youth development. Using its 3Rs Philosophy (Rights, Respect, and Responsibility), Advocates works to shift the societal paradigm of adolescent sexuality away from a negative emphasis on fear and ignorance toward the acceptance of sexual development as healthy and the belief that adolescents are a valuable resource. Staff provide information, training, and assistance to youth-serving organizations, policy makers, youth activists, and media in the U.S. and in low- and middle-income countries. The organization’s domestic and international initiatives provide a unique opportunity to disseminate “lessons without borders” within the adolescent reproductive and sexual health (ARSH) field.
“I love this initiative! In my 25 years at Advocates for Youth, I can truly say that AMAZE is one of my favorite projects! It’s fun and creative and meets young adolescents right where they are! What a joy to be a part of something so innovative and yet so educational!”
– Deb Hauser, President, Advocates for Youth.
Answer is a national organization that provides and promotes access to comprehensive sex education for young people and training for the adults who teach them. Answer is dedicated to ensuring young people have the knowledge and skills they need to be happy, healthy and safe well into the future. For more than 35 years, Answer has helped adults be the best sexuality educators they can be by providing the latest resources, most current information and best practices for reaching and teaching the youth in their lives. Answer’s signature publication, Sex, Etc., is a teen-written sexual health magazine and website which reaches over two million young people every year with honest, accurate sexual health information and resources.
“Answer is committed to centering the voices of young people in everything we do; being a partner in AMAZE provides another opportunity for us to do just that. AMAZE builds on Answer’s legacy of leveraging technology to deliver sexual health information in a format that resonates with teens. Through AMAZE, we are thrilled to be reaching a critical and often overlooked audience of younger adolescents.”
YTH (Youth+Tech+Health) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization specializing in youth-centered health design that advances the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and wellness of young people using new media and technologies. Our mission is to develop innovative solutions for youth health and wellness. YTH is the partner of choice for those in search of new ways to advance the health of youth and young adults through technology. They drive change by creating, evaluating, and refining technology solutions and providing partners with proven models ready for scale and replication. They also build the capacity of the community to advance youth health by providing research, training, idea generation, and expert advice. YTH has pioneered many digital solutions to reach youth with information and services where they want it and when they need it. Bhupendra Sheoran serves as the Executive Director.
“AMAZE does indeed take the weird out of sex ed. YTH is fortunate to be working with adolescents and the other Amaze partners in this pioneering campaign to reach adolescents and their adult allies with authentic and real sexual health information”
– Bhupendra Sheoran
Marie Stopes International is grateful to have been selected as an international partner for WestWind’s AMAZE project roll-out in Africa. AMAZE aims to generate engaging, age-appropriate, online sex education resources for 10-to-14 year olds – available in a wide range of languages – to empower young people and destigmatize sexual health topics.
In February 2017, Marie Stopes South Africa began working to adapt several of the AMAZE videos to the local context and plans to reach young South Africans with these videos later this year.
“We meet women and men in our clinics everyday who say they wish they had had more information about their health and bodies when they were young. Tools like AMAZE are so needed if we want to make sure young people are equipped to make good choices about their health and relationships.”
IPPF/Western Hemisphere Region sees Amaze as an opportunity to engage parents and teachers around Comprehensive Sex Education geared towards younger adolescents, and to support them with the online resources they need to do so. They are planning to establish a competitive RFP process among their affiliates in Latin America, that would eventually disseminate info as well as incentivize the uptake of Amaze across their affiliates in Latin America. The affiliates would submit proposals for how they would pilot the videos in their countries. Their goal is to award the funds to 1-2 in-country partners that put forth the best ideas to pilot the videos in their local contexts.
In their Spring Newsletter, Giselle Carino, the new IPPF/WHR Regional Director made the following comments:
“Today we are positioned to amplify this progress under our new strategic plan, which commits to reaching more than five million young people in the Americas and Caribbean with quality sexuality education by 2022. While ambitious, I have no doubt that we will do for sexuality education what we did for family planning more than sixty years ago: create a culture in which sexuality education is viewed as an essential part of gender equality and social development for our nations; an investment that helps governments, communities and families challenge the harmful gender norms that perpetrate a culture of violence; reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, and ultimately, create happier and more equitable societies. I have no doubt we will achieve our goals. We have a strong, imaginative team of staff, volunteers, and allies like you that are dedicated, determined, and open to new approaches and innovative ideas. We have solid partnerships with sister organizations, academic institutions, and governments, and unwavering support from dedicated funders.”
DKT Mexico has been an incredibly valuable resource as we begin to test out our messaging and how best to market our videos to an international audience.
Ibis Reproductive Health is an international non-profit organization with a mission to improve women’s reproductive autonomy, choices, and health worldwide. Our core activity is clinical and social science research on issues receiving inadequate attention in other research settings and where gaps in the evidence exist. As an organisation we are passionate about doing bold and brave work using innovative strategies to improve women’s reproductive health and choices.
We believe the AMAZE videos do an incredible job at:
· Showing that puberty is a normal process that all young people go through
· Distinguishing between myths and realities associated with puberty
· Creating a platform that discusses and responds to the issues young people face
· Engaging parents in the discussion
SENZAKAHLE is the youth- initiated organization managed by youth. The organization was formed in 2014 with the desire to address youth’s major challenges and promote leadership and self-reliance. Given the impact of HIV/AIDS on our community we:
– Assist in awareness programs that educate people about the importance of adherence to treatment and also refer to the local based health institutions
– Identify community caregivers and equip them with skills to provide home based services for those affected by HIV/AIDS
– To encourage groups of young people affected by HIV/AIDS to create and benefit from support groups
The AMAZE videos will help address social attitudes to sex and sexuality including diversity around orientation and identity that can lead to a more inclusive South Africa, young people who identify as LGBT+ still face many challenges in schooling environments.
POINTT’s focuses on strengthening health and social support systems for key and high-risk populations. Our vision is a society where all individuals and communities live free from discrimination and have equal access to health and social services. POINTT works with actors across social, education, and health sectors to support rigorous and robust outputs and outcomes that have meaningful impact on individuals, communities, stakeholders and policies.
POINTT feels privileged to have been apart of the localisation of the AMAZE videos for the South African context. So often video content is developed and then introduced to the local context are misunderstood or simply do not connect with the audience. These videos fill the current gap in information that is accessible to everyday South Africa 10 – 14 year olds, educators and caregivers. A tool to start to effect a mindset shift amongst 10 -14 years olds and communities in general, where health seeking behaviours are encouraged and adolescent development is understood and normalised across generations. We also see this as a potential bridging tool to open lines of communication between parents/caregivers and children around issues of health and development.
GENERATION I AM is aimed at promoting self-confidence and instilling positive outlooks in life among young people across South Africa. We use a variety of tools such as motivational talks, mentorship, volunteerism and career guidance to engage and empower learners.
“At Catholics for Choice, we believe that change happens through dialogue and an exchange of information, through communicating ideas and values. We work to ensure the capacity of all individuals to make their own decisions about their lives is respected and affirmed.
For youth, having accurate information and the answers to the questions they have related to sex,reproductive healthcare, changing bodies, and healthy relationships is critical in helping them make their own informed decisions. That is why we are proud to support the AMAZE collaboration.”
“Young people around the world deserve access to engaging, relatable, and accurate information about sexuality and their sexual rights. AMAZE answers the call to make sure young people have the tools they need to live healthy lives.”
“As an international network of physicians who advocate for access to comprehensive reproductive health care, Global Doctors for Choice is delighted to support the important work of AMAZE. We recognize that access to sex education, contraceptives, and safe and legal abortion is a human right and essential to public health. We also acknowledge that involving a variety of actors from diverse backgrounds is key to any and all reproductive health initiatives. As such, we warmly welcome AMAZE’s contribution to the field of reproductive health and rights by normalizing sex education and healthy sexual development among youth, parents, and educators.”
Description of the organization:
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions.
Why we are excited about the AMAZE videos:
Young people want fun and engaging ways to learn about what to expect during puberty — and parents want great resources they can share with their children to spark meaningful conversations. Bringing a message that growing up is normal and healthy, the AMAZE videos fill a critical gap in what’s been available to young people, their parents, and educators. These videos creatively provide non-judgmental facts on an array of topics that are important for 10-14 year olds, including puberty, relationships, and gender. A fantastic feature of the AMAZE website is “My Amaze,” which allows parents and educators to create customized video playlists to share with children.
“Physicians for Reproductive Health sees AMAZE as an engaging, accurate and age-appropriate new resource that can be shared with its network of doctors and other health care providers. In particular, Physicians Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Program (ARSHEP) plans to promote the AMAZE videos as a positive, healthy, and fun way that youth-serving health care professionals can initiate discussions of gender identity & expression, sex, and sexuality, during clinical visits with younger adolescents. Health care providers are essential sex educators for youth and AMAZE gives them the tools to approach these often sensitive topics with not only their patients, but parents as well.”
“@RiseUp_Together is excited to share this important new #MoreInfoLessWeird resource with young leaders in the US, and we can’t wait to share the upcoming Spanish series with our partners in Latin America.”
“SIECUS is thrilled to support the AMAZE project and commends our colleagues at Advocates for Youth, Answer, and Youth Tech Health for the creation of this fantastic and needed resource for 10-14 year olds. These videos are an excellent addition to the breadth of ways young people access accurate information about their sexual health—in school, from their parents and family, and from their peers. AMAZE is a resource not only for young people, but for parents and educators on how to talk to younger adolescents about sexual development in a shame-free and non-stigmatizing way. By recognizing that sexuality is a fundamental part of who we are and providing the knowledge and information about what’s natural and healthy, as the AMAZE project does, we empower young people to make decisions for themselves.”
“WestWind is proud to be founding supporter of AMAZE. This project provides fun, educational materials for the pivotal period from childhood to adolescence, an age group that is currently underserved in sex ed. By creating fun, educational materials about changing bodies, sex and healthy relationships, the project will help parents and educators open a dialogue with young adolescents. We hope AMAZE becomes the basis for a healthy and positive attitude toward sexual.”
“AMAZE is a product of love and hard work and I couldn’t be happier that it’s has been launched. It’ will be such a great tool and resource for those of us working with youth as it will help us assure and educate teenagers, parents and teachers about sexual and reproductive health and rights. I love the videos and I’m sure our youth will love them too. Bravo and thank you!!!”
– Rodrigo Barillas, Executive Director of WINGS
“The videos at Amaze provide an excellent start for young people between the ages of 10 and 14, long a highly underserved group in sex and relationships education. They may also be a great fit for older teens or emerging adults with developmental disabilities and certain kinds of learning disabilities. They’re quirky, bright and engaging, providing accurate, relevant information in a way both pre-teens and younger teens and parents alike will likely appreciate and feel very comfortable with. This series can be an invaluable starter resource for parents or guardians, teachers or helpful older siblings to direct the younger people in their lives they care about and need help talking with about bodies, sex, sexuality and relationships.”
– Heather Corinna, Founder and Director, Scarleteen
The Feminist Majority Foundation supports the AMAZE project as it plays an important role in reproductive health and education. We are working with AMAZE.org to distribute its educational curriculum through our Girls Learn International network of middle school chapters and International Partner Schools and believe it is a great resource for youth, parents and educators.
Population Media Center recognizes that sexual education and adolescent reproductive health is essential to protecting young people. Unfortunately, many adolescents experience their sexual development without having received any sex education, leaving them without an understanding of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, or methods of prevention like condoms.
Amaze.org provides essential information to a very important age group, and the information is delivered in a way that is accessible and non-threatening. Population Media Center specializes in using entertainment as education and we commend Amaze.org on a job well done.
Ipas’s mission comprehensively responds to the full range of factors that affect women’s and adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights—factors like sexual violence, stigma, lack of information, and lack of access to contraception and abortion care. We strive to enhance every woman’s and adolescent girl’s ability to obtain comprehensive abortion care when needed and when needed prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Why we are excited about the AMAZE videos: Ipas works with youth-led and youth-focused community organizations around the world and places young leaders at the center of reproductive health because it affects them and their peers the most. The AMAZE tools are uniquely designed for youths, their parents, and educators to learn in a safe environment about sexual and reproductive health. Such a resource will help ensure that the next generation understands and claims their sexual and reproductive rights. We congratulate AMAZE on this exceptional youth-appropriate educational resource.
“We’re proud to support AMAZE, and have recommended this resource to readers of our own Parent Buzz newsletter. AMAZE is an engaging, age-appropriate, online sex education resource that provides the answers young people want and need in an accurate and fun format. Recognizing the critical role parents and educators play in educating young people about their changing bodies, sex and healthy relationships, we love that AMAZE provides conversation starters, suggested answers to typical questions and website and book resources for parents and educators to use in talking with the young people in their lives.”
“Congratulations to all involved in this extraordinary endeavor! This resource is transforming the concept of sexuality education into something FUN to watch. Animation on screens – large and small — is a time-tested way to engage young people – really all people. Kids all over the world are curious and need and deserve to know accurate information about puberty, their sexuality, healthy relationships and safety. Even in remote areas, most kids have access to some screen, somewhere, sometimes. These videos exceed expectations because, as my 12-year-old confirms, “they are really good!” We at Summit can hardly wait for the Spanish and other language versions as AMAZE travels around the world. Bon Voyage!”