I’ve been a social conservative activist for over 6 years now. In this time, I’ve seen quite a bit. But doing the research on this whole Development & Peace scandal has left me nauseous. I can barely tolerate reading about these so-called “social justice partners” and their reproductive “rights” campaigns any longer. It just goes on and on and on. The whole thing is one big hate-fest against men and the traditional family, not to mention the promotion of sexual license, “reproductive rights”, and abortion.
We need to realize that we’ve been duped into funding these groups over 42 years with millions and millions of dollars going to traffic smut and death, or, at the very least, to enable it.
I thought we had reached the rock bottom as far as D&P was concerned.
Boy, was I wrong.
As I was doing some research on D&P this afternoon, I came across their Youth Wing. I didn’t know they had a Youth Wing, did you? Me neither. But they do. They even have a website telling us a little bit about what they are about.
Now, in the past, an organization could operate in relative darkness and obscurity because exposing some malfeasance was relatively difficult, nevermind getting that information out quickly and widely to the public. The internet, of course, has changed all that, as D&P has discovered. These groups try to hide what they are about by using euphemisms and being coy in their semantics, but they can’t do it completely with the internet. At some point and at some time, the beans get spilled.
Anyhow, D&P’s youth wing, “Just Youth Development and Peace“, sent some kids on a trip to Nigeria last summer to spend time with an organization called YARAC, their host partner. From this poster, you can read about the trip and find out a little bit more of what they were doing:
The bulk of our time will be spent with YARAC in Nigeria – Youth Adolescent Reflection and Action Centre. In a country with a new and fragile democracy, youth’s energy has often been exploited by political elites who have incited Muslims and Christians to fight each other. But YARAC has found innovative ways to engage youth in community building and democracy, particularly in linking sports and democracy, and theatre and democracy. “We try to engage with youth beyond the boxes of religion and ethnicity,” says Tor Iorapuu, YARAC’s Director. “We are first and foremost people living under one heaven.”
Sounds very peaceful and ecumenical, doesn’t it? Sure does.
And what do you think the objectives of this trip are? Solid Catholic ones, right? Help the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, build houses, plant crops, dig wells, develop irrigation systems – you know, useful work that we used to do as missionaries.
Well, that’s not exactly what the D&P Youth are up to, these days.
Here are the objectives stated on the poster….
- to meet with young people in Nigeria and learn about their reality
- to observe how THEATRE and SPORT can be used to promote democracy and learn
- techniques we can use back home with D & P
- meet with D & P’s partners and learn more about their work and their role in the social movement :
• to deepen our sense of social justice and analysis of the critical issues impacting on
people in the north and the south
• to relate the experience to the social teachings of the church
• to experience the trip together as a small christian community
This list is not exactly what I would have in mind for a trip to a third world country, but then again I’m not in the business of planning these kind of trips. After the past week, however, I have a completely different perspective on “social justice” projects that D&P – and most NGOs – are engaged in. It went from little respect to virtually none.
In fact, as I was reading this poster, I could smell the scent of death and destruction a mile away and the aroma coming from them – reproductive “rights”, condoms, and abortion. So I decided to dig a bit further. And sure enough, YARAC did not disappoint.
If you are standing while you are reading this blog post for some reason, it is best to sit down at this time.
Presented below are some real “eye-openers” for all of you to appreciate and digest. And when I say an “eye-opener”, you can be sure that, based on what I have read this past week, it truly is exceptional and deserving of a full round of applause. They come right from YARAC’s website.
The first post is a “Welcome” notice to D&P! Yes, that’s right folks, they’re welcoming our Catholic children to their social action center:
YARAC to Host Development & Peace Canada
CANADIAN YOUTH VISIT YARAC IN JOS, PLATEAU STATE, July 2-17, 2008
Meet Lori Ryan and Natasha Halpin of Development and Peace, Canada.
The highlight of the visit by the Canadian youth group is to learn and share experiences with Nigerian youth on varying areas of interest. Particularly, see how the strategies of theatre and soccer for democracy work in Nigeria. Lori Ryan the D & P Youth Animator will be leading the team of six other youth and young adults to Nigeria for two weeks.
So far so good.
Just down further on the home page, however, you’ll notice another post about the “Status of a Woman”. If the alarm bells are not going off by now, you must be in a coma or work for D&P.
“You Can Tell the Future of a Nation by Looking at the Status of a Woman”
Jawaharlal Nehru. First prime minister of India
YARAC is calling for Action from all stakeholders, both Government and individual, who have a stake in the future of our nation to begin to invest BY empowering the WOMEN AND GIRLS beyond the box of the kitchen by being a part of the 2008 International Womens day Celebration.
International Women’s Day Celebration, of course, is all about promoting radical feminism including their staple diet of contraception, abortion, and sexual orientations, among other anti-family and anti-Christian ideas.
But wait, maybe that’s not fair. Maybe YARAC does a lot of other things too. Maybe the sexual stuff is down at the bottom of the list.
Not quite. This is what they say about themselves:
What is YARAC?
YARAC is an acronym for Youth Adolescent Reflection and Action Centre. This name emerged from a workshop to conclude a three year project with youth and adolescents regarding their reproductive rights and behaviour. The project titled ‘HAD I KNOWN’ (helping adolescents off the road to…) was a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant for leadership development in Nigeria.
And that’s all they say about “what is YARAC”. That’s it. Basically reproductive “rights and behaviour”. It doesn’t even bother with the window dressing.
The YARAC Mission statement says this:
YARAC Mission Statement
Our mission is to empower young adults and adolescents about their reproductive rights and civic responsibilities through information sharing and transformative education. To achieve this, our activities are geared towards:
- Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Education;
- Conflict and Peace Building for Transformative Change;
- Education and Advocacy;
- Leadership and Governance – Social Change;
- Youth Entrepreneural Development Initiatives.
You want to teach who about their reproductive rights? Adolescents. Just how sick can you get?
So what does YARAC teach? They have a tab on the top banner of their website called “Reproductive rights” which tells us. In fact, it’s so explicit, that it rates right up there with our public sex education system:
The Learning Process
Whatever Health education activities you do, well chosen and properly used materials can help you do it better. For example, if you are teaching people about how the body works, a flipchart can make it easier to explain. If you are having a group discussion about sexuality, flashcards and games can help to stimulate discussion. If you are teaching people how to use a condom, they will learn better by touching real condoms and practicing putting them on a model, such as a bottle.
How do you decide what you need, and how do you develop and use it? The key is to link the materials to your overall plan. Think about what you are trying to achieve. Do you need to convey simple facts or complicated information, develop problem-solving or practical skills, or promote changes in attitudes and behavior? Who are you trying to reach? Once you know this, you can decide what activities to use and what materials you need to support these activities.
People usually learn more from doing something themselves than by watching someone else or reading about it. Materials that are produced by the people you are working with, or that can be used by them, are most likely to be successful
Imagine that! As a faithful Catholic parent, you did your best to keep your kids away from being taught the filth and degradation in sex-ed class in school, only to hand them over to D&P so they may learn how to put a condom around a bottle.
So everyone who donated to D&P this past Sunday can rest assured that their money went to a really great cause. I mean, what could be better use of our money than subsidizing pornographic flipcharts and condom bottles?
Normally, when there is a serious problem at an organization, there is a change in programming and a change-over in management. The Catholic Church does not typically operate that way when it deals with people, however. But I cannot see how simply re-orienting the programs is going to make a difference to the thinking and the philosophy of the people who guide D&P.
We just cannot trust them any more. And if you can’t trust someone, then the relationship is dead.
D&P needs to be shut down RIGHT NOW before any more abortion campaigning is done or before any of our children or others’ children are shown condom flipcharts.
The bishops need to decide whose side they are on.
Ours or Theirs. Because it can’t be both.
If you thought that YARAC was just about giving students instructions about rubbers, you have been mistaken! They are much more comprehensive about sex education than that, and they seek to expand their contraceptive horizons!
Over the last five years, the objectives of the project have been to:
Increase and improve young people’s knowledge, attitudes and practices on sexuality and reproductive health and right issues through mainstreaming FLHE in over 217 public junior secondary schools.
- Enhance the capacity of 434 teachers and 217 school administrators to implement the sexuality education curriculum through training by 2008
- Increase knowledge based of young people by 90% on contraceptive use, transmission of sexually related diseases (STDs and HIV/AIDS) through popular education; production and distribution, of friendly IEC materials.
- Reduce from 5% to 0.1% cases of female school drop out as a result of teen pregnancy by 2008
- Ensure qualitative stakeholders participation and commitment to the promotion of sexuality education in schools through the establishment of state stakeholders action committee on young people’s sexuality education in the state
- Increase partnership through networking with other groups working on sexuality and reproductive health.
To be able to get to this stage, YARAC took series of actions at different levels. The project started as “Bridging Gaps…” and today we are talking about “Beyond Gaps…” And to bridge the gaps, all stakeholders needed to appreciate the situation of young people by recognizing the realities of the moment regarding their social and health behaviors. Certain barriers needed and still need to be approached carefully; these disconnects have been reasonably bridged. The assurances helped us to look beyond the gaps: the teachers need training; preparing their comfort level to be able to discuss and teach topics that related to sexuality and reproductive health is simply unavoidable. Adolescents need every sincere information regarding their sexuality. Rigid cultural, religious norms or values (Editor’s note: like uh Catholicism or traditional values perhaps?); or failure to give reliable information is nothing but destroying the future of these young people especially with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Not when many young girls get pregnant and are thrown out of school unlike their male counterparts; not when poverty is a contributory factor to why parents prefer to sacrifice their daughters to early marriage in order to keep the boys in school. Family Life and HIV/AIDS education for young people cannot be sacrificed to unchanging cultural or religious norms (Editor’s note: sounds like Catholicism to me); and values or lack of political will power.
Consequently, YARAC in collaboration with the relevant sections in Plateau state Ministry of Education, produced schemes of work for JSS 1, 2 and 3 as a guide to the implementation in two subject areas: Integrated Science and Social Studies. The objective for the schemes of work was to provide trained FLHE teachers with working tools to enable them deliver effectively the knowledge acquired during their training to the students.
IMPLEMENTATION OF NCSEC/FLHE
It is important to recognize that the apprehension regarding the teaching of sexuality education in schools is world wide and normal. Nigeria is not an exception. The Federal Ministry of Education, NGOs, CSOs, the Media and international partners, must be commended for their tremendous contributions to advance the process to this stage. We are looking forward to an informed generation of young people that is sensibly aware and responsive. The implementation in Lagos , Cross Rivers , Niger , Enugu , Plateau, Kano states, have advanced remarkably. In Plateau State, other agencies such as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), Faith based organizations are intervening at different levels. Also in Plateau training of teachers has continued take place by various groups. Recently, the Plateau State Ministry of Education organized a FLHE training activity for Primary School Teachers. This is encouraging and obviously a demonstration that the state is anxious about young people. And so in the last three years, over 200 teachers have received training to scale up the teaching of FLHE in public and private junior secondary schools. YARAC started with 20 private secondary schools, then 40 pilot public schools and now the scale up is in 217 public secondary schools. (Source: Implementation of Family Life and HIV/AIDS Education (FLHE) in Junior Public Secondary Schools in Plateau State)