Potomac Peace Corps volunteer Ji Kim is working with a community in Thailand to start a sexual health and gender empowerment training camp for local high school students.
"Comprehensive sexual education is commonplace in the United States, but it is lacking in Thailand,” Kim, a graduate of the University of Maryland who has been living and working in Thailand since 2012, said in a statement.
"HIV/AIDS education, especially, is glossed over when introducing healthy lifestyle habits to students. Once stigma is reduced around sexual relations, then students will become more empowered to look after their bodies. This camp will improve students' understanding of healthy lifestyle habits and promote gender empowerment and the overall well-being of one’s body and mind," Kim added.
A portion of the funds for the project will be raised through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), a program that helps support Peace Corps volunteer community projects worldwide.
More than 200 students in 8th through 11th grades are expected to attend the three-day camp, according to a Peace Corps statement.
"Thailand is a very progressive country. However, there are overlooked gaps in the education of students about sexual health and gender that affects everyone," Kim said. "After the training, students will be able to identify ways in which HIV/AIDS is transmitted, describe issues facing LGBT populations, list factors associated with high teen pregnancy and identify ways to address risk factors of teen pregnancy."
"The local community, which has been a large part of the drive behind the creation of the program, has pledged to fund most of the larger costs of the program with the PCPP money going to food and additional costs. Kim believes that the camp will inspire the community, the school teachers and the local health clinic to further the educational awareness on health issues beyond just the students," the Peace Corps statement continued.
To help support Kim’s project in Thailand, visit: www.peacecorps.gov/donate. Kim’s project number is: 493-177.
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