It’s okay to have questions!
MSI campaign in Cambodia creates safe space for young people
Do you remember having questions about sex? Were you scared to ask someone about safer sex, contraception or what to do if you unexpectedly got pregnant? We know what that feels like and so do many of the young women we work with. Unfortunately, many young people do not have access to reproductive health information and services. And stigma means some are too afraid to seek out information at all.
That’s why MSI Cambodia launched the “It’s okay to have questions” campaign, a series of events and ads that encourages young people to access reproductive health information via MSI Cambodia’s website, call centers and social media channels. The campaign focuses on reassuring adolescents that it’s good to have questions about sex and reproductive health — and telling them where they can find answers.
Some young women are afraid to be seen going to our centers. So MSI Cambodia came to them, visiting 22 universities across the country to raise awareness about resources that don’t require a visit to a provider. At the university events, MSI staff provided private, in-person counseling to students who wanted it. MSI Cambodia even created an online counseling app to help people who can’t make it to a clinic decide what kind of contraception works best for them.
As of 2017, Cambodia had the youngest population in Southeast Asia with 22% of the population, or 3,500,000 people, ages 15–24. That’s almost the entire population of Los Angeles! However, only 27% of this demographic reported using a modern method of contraception.
To reach more young people with information about contraception, MSI Cambodia aired an informational ad during movie previews at one of the largest theaters in the country. Over 12,000 young people watched the ad, which later went viral on Facebook. Our outreach is paying off: in the last two years, MSI Cambodia has provided almost 100,000 young people with quality sexual and reproductive health information.
Everyone deserves a safe space where they feel comfortable exercising control over their bodies. That’s why we’ll continue adapting our methods to better fit the lifestyles and cultures of the young people we work with across the world.