January’s Teen Club had the teens learning about and discussing various relationships in their lives. The day started off with a talk from Dr. Refilwe, a medical officer at the Baylor Clinic. She discussed the importance of healthy transition into adulthood and from Baylor to a local clinic. She facilitated the first meeting of the young adults support group. The around 16 member who are part of the group talk about a suitable name for the group, outlined the objectives and aims and spoke about their dreams and expectations. From now on, the young adults support group will take place once a month at the same time as the Gaborone Teen Club.
Following the presentation, the teens were broken into two groups (younger and older teens) for the rest of the day’s activities. The first activity of the day involved the teens discussing their opinions on roles within relationships. Volunteers read out statements (ex. “Because your boyfriend wants to have sex with you, you know that he really loves you.”) and the teens were asked to stand next to signs saying Yes, No or Maybe, depending on how they felt about each statement. After the teens had made their decisions, the volunteers asked and encouraged them, to discuss why they were standing where they were. All of the teens (both the younger and older groups) participated very enthusiastically in the discussions following each statement. The activity proved to be an effective and fun way to engage teens in a healthy discussion about stereotypes that exist within various relationships and why those stereotypes may or may not be true. The teens enjoyed this activity so much that we ran over time!
The next activity involved role playing. The younger and older teens were given different scenarios/situations that may be typical within predominant relationships in their lives. They broke up into smaller groups and the volunteers asked the teens to role play both the scenario as well as what the teens thought would be the most appropriate solution to the problem. The situations involved not only romantic relationships, but also familial relationships as well as relationships with friends and peers. The skits that the teens came up with were very creative and showed excellent problem solving skills. Many of the teens reported how much they enjoyed role-playing.
Overall, the day was a resounding success. The teens were able to approach the, sometimes difficult, topic of relationships in creative ways. The various activities generated a great deal of discussion among the teens and both the younger and older teens reported enjoying the day’s activities!