How do we work with health professionals?
Our collaboration with health professionals is crucial to the ongoing success of Sexwise.
School Staff: We encourage the school nurse, counsellor and relevant teachers to be present during the programme so they can listen and learn from the responses of their students.
There is always a trusted adult to turn to within the school if any questions need answering, or support is required later on.
Community Support: We invite local health promoters, family planning teams, Māori and Pacific Island community support teams to be present at the schools we visit in their locality and give them a platform during the programme to talk about the support they can offer students - ensuring that local teenagers are connected to local support in the longer term.
Tour Consultation: We also consult with regional health promoters to identify schools and communities that could benefit from our programme.
Why do we do what we do?
- To increase health equity in Aotearoa NZ
- We know happy healthy youth have improved outcomes in adult life
- To combat STIs - we use MoH data to prioritise high risk regions
- To dispel misinformation
- To support the work of the health sector
- To connect rangatahi to local services and support.
How does Applied Theatre work for sexuality and healthy relationships education?
Applied theatre has been used by many organisations in New Zealand including government departments to help shift mindsets and evoke positive change.
It has the ability to break down barriers and pave the way for meaningful dialogue between students, teachers and facilitators making it the perfect tool for topics that are often considered taboo.
The Sexwise programme consists of a performance by our professional facilitators depicting four teenage friends struggling with various aspects of their sexuality and relationships; followed by a workshop where students discuss the scenarios, work together to find solutions and offer advice to the characters. This feedback is then used to replay certain scenes so that students can experience the impact of their ideas.
The programme is revised every year by professional facilitators who are easy for teenagers in Aotearoa to relate to, in terms of age, culture, sexual and gender diversity.
No two sessions are the same because each student brings their culture, faith, experience and challenges with them. This means that the solutions and advice developed reflects the values of the students in that class.
The programme uses several tools, including waiata, humour, contemporary references and interactive games to ‘break the ice’ and remove barriers during the workshop to allow open discussion of potentially difficult topics.
The topics and messages were spot on and the crew invoked some really good, healthy, safe and meaningful discussions with the rangatahi.
Ongoing Training and Professional Development
We are a member of PASHANZ and are active participants in the ongoing discussion around sexuality, healthy relationships and prevention of sexual violence.
Our team are provided with training in sexuality, sexual health and cultural awareness, supported by local experts, including teams from Family Planning, the University of Otago and cultural leaders in our Māori and Pacific Island communities.
What is our relationship with the Ministry of Health?
The Ministry of Health funds a broad range of sexual health organisations and programmes, of which we are one. The Ministry is our primary funder and enables us to provide the programme for free to eligible education settings on an ongoing basis.
What support do we need? How can you help?
- Become a Board member.
- Join us at your local schools.
- Invite us to meet your team, or to visit a specific group of teenagers.
- Work with us to deliver a key message or raise awareness of a service you provide.
If you're able to provide support in any way please get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.