Comprehensive sexuality education isn’t just about body parts, or condoms, or diseases. It’s also about life skills, confidence, and community. And this kind of engagement can lead not just to healthier and more just lives, but to advocacy work on sexual and reproductive rights and health issues. Our Brazilian partner Grupo Curumim runs a youth program, Cunhatã, which works with young people to learn about the health and human rights of teenage and young women. Every year a new group of approximately 50 young people, ages 13 to 25, get training. A lot of them stick around to work with the next crop of young people, too. In the below video, meet two young people who have gone through Programa Cunhatã and have stayed deeply involved in Grupo Curumim’s work.
TEXT: Grupo Curumim is an organization based in Recife, Brazil that encourages women, young people, and adolescents to become active and engaged in their communities.
Curumim’s Programa Cunhatã provides leadership training for youth ages 13 to 15, with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Meet Leo and Claudia from Grupo Curumim…
LEO: Well, my name is Leo—Leandro—but people call me Leo for short. I prefer Leo. For more or less seven years now, I have been part of Grupo Curumim. In fact, I started in their training. I participated in all the training in the youth program, Cunhatã, where people discuss controversial issues regarding awareness on topics such as women’s rights, violence against women, gender relations, sexual and reproductive rights, and youth public policies for about one year. After a year of training I was invited to participate on the Curumim team. In fact, the young people from Cunhatã came up with the idea of maintaining a core group to continue our activities. And those who were interested formed such a group and asked Curumim if we could continue to meet and discuss issues. The program agreed and said we could. So through this, we also started to do work for Curumim. It was great. We gave presentations; we traveled in the Northeast with Latin American youth networks, working at the municipal, state, and national levels. So we worked in a variety of areas.
CLAUDIA: My name is Claudia, I am 21 years old. I have been part of Cunhatã since I was 14. It was very important in my life because I became much stronger on these issues, on sexual rights, reproductive rights, knowledge of my own body, and also for tackling the issue of violence against women, because I didn’t understand at the time why it happened, how it happened. I grew up in an environment where I saw my mother being beaten by my father, and I thought that was normal, because our neighbor also was—all the women I knew were, so I thought that when I grew up I would be too. Cunhatã showed me that violence against women was a crime and that no woman deserves such violence. So what I fight for now is to protect women’s rights.