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Cultivating healthy relationships

Antony Y. Carabali, Liza Castro y Esthepanía Lozano

Aug 11, 2021

During this experience we worked on how prejudices hinder the path towards equality and the construction of fair and diverse societies

In November 2021, with teenagers ages 15 to 18, we built a space of trust and freedom to work on two key objectives of Global Goal 3: Health and Well-being: 3.3) End the epidemic of AIDS and other communicable diseases, and 3.4) Promote mental health and well-being.

During this experience we worked on how prejudices hinder the path towards equality and the construction of fair and diverse societies, the importance of self-love, the cultivation of healthy relationships, self-care, and the inherent in the media representations of sex. Finally we searched for ways to experience life from pleasure, the recognition of emotions, and the expression of feelings. We used board-games and role-playing games, rewriting of emblematic myths of love, STD infographics, campaigns to prevent discrimination, interactive stories, and body mapping to trace the path of emotions and sensations.

In this regenerative and liberating journey we were accompanied by bonobos, who taught us how to live sexuality and relationships without ties, prejudices or violence. Students learned that sex-affective relationships in nature can be very diverse, free and pleasurable. And just like the bonobos who continue to play even in adulthood, a sense of playfulness enveloped the training through experiencing the world with the senses.

​The training concluded with immense gratitude and rejoicing at having built a space of trust and safety to address issues of such interest to young people committed to regeneration!


Learning process

At the beginning

Recognized self-care as not being influenced by external pressure and trusting one's own judgment.

At the end

After addressing self-love, 100% expanded their understanding of self-care to include getting to know themselves, making time for themselves, tending to their emotions, and recognizing self-worth.

Emotional intelligence

At the beginning

Considered that having a healthy relationship with sexuality was limited to using condoms.

At the end

After enabling a safe space to resolve doubts about sexuality, 100% expanded their idea of care in sexual relations, including emotional care, the importance of being informed and building a relationship of trust with sexual partners to discuss risks such as STIs or unplanned pregnancies.

Life skills

At the beginning

Identified a particular type of prejudice, without inquiring into why it was problematic.

At the end

After addressing the causes and effects of prejudice, 100% were able to identify prejudices and propose actions such as making diversity visible, recognizing the value of each being and creating campaigns to resolve doubts about diversity (sexual and gender).

Global Goal: sexual health and well-being

When the students were asked what holistic and inclusive care measures a Health Center could provide regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections,, they answered that:

  • They should not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender, but rather guide couples in that shared responsibility.

  • Allow spaces to talk about care to avoid Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

  • Support people who have STDs with counseling and medication.


Representations of discomfort in the body due to sexually transmitted diseases.

"To recognize that we should not be so possessive, to have a healthy relationship is to believe in trust between two people, that they feel the same love and express it, with confidence, security, self-esteem and listening to each other."

—Oscar, 15 years old, student from Colombia

"A person must first love himself, before loving another."

—Sebastian, 15 years old, student from Colombia

"I remembered many things from my past that I had forgotten. I remembered my family and many good and beautiful memories, funny and happy moments, things that in my mind I had lost because of time."

—Giovann, 17 years old, student from Colombia.

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