Beyond The Classroom

Sex and relationships are topics that we get way more discussion about in schools nowadays. But for Amma Mensah there is still a huge gap in sex education and discussion. With one in six teenage girls in a relationship being pressured into sex, and with a quarter of teenage girls saying they had been physically abused by their boyfriends[1], you can definitely see her point.

Amma has volunteered with young people and she now works in education and social care. Through her voluntary work and her job she saw how self-esteem, confidence and being given the ability to make our own decisions are crucial to help us make the choices that are right for us.

She thinks one answer is in helping to educate young people, by creating an environment where they feel more comfortable discussing these issues and, importantly, an environment where they can find out more. Beyond The Classroom offers secondary schools a package which includes theatre production, drama workshops and mentoring sessions.

Take a look at this video about “Girlhood to Womanhood”, a production run by Beyond The Classroom exploring sex education.

These events give students the chance to explore how peer pressure, the media, gender power imbalance, and self-confidence affect the decisions we make. Parents and teachers may not offer all the advice we need, and our peers are often in the same position as us, so these sessions are about exploring and learning together.

Her early sessions encouraged people to put their thoughts on paper and into a hat. When they were drawn out by others it was clear that honest contributions were being made, and that complex issues were being dealt with. The students were then encouraged to develop role plays around these issues, allowing them to explore the topics in a safe environment without fear of stigma. Amma hopes that she will become more involved in schools, offering additional skills and advice that go beyond the current national curriculum. Or, as the name of the organisation suggests, Beyond The Classroom, giving people a chance to speak out and to listen to one another so that they can walk away feeling more informed and confident to make their own decisions about sex and relationships.

Amma says of working with Live UnLtd: 

“I always knew the help was there if I needed it.”

Visit Beyond The Classroom’s website here.

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