I believe knowledge, resources and skills to be essential if we hope to improve youth sexual health and rights around the world.
Joe is a member of the International Youth Leadership Council.
Though I was born and raised in Lebanon, I am an alumnus of the African Leadership Academy in South Africa and currently a junior at Georgetown University, majoring in Government and minoring in Health Promotion. Back home in Lebanon, with its traditional religious values permeating all echelons of society, the discussion of sexual topics has been and continues to be taboo. Sadly, this avoidance has led to ignorance with respect to youth sexual health and also an undeniable lack of rights, especially those that deal with youth sexuality. That being said, my experiences living in South Africa and the United States have shown me that this issue is not particular to Lebanon. Therefore, I believe knowledge, resources and skills to be essential if we hope to improve the condition of youth sexual health and rights around the world.
As a member of the International Youth Leadership Council, I would hope to serve as an example to others like me that are not satisfied with the current state of affairs. I have seen and experienced the effects of substandard sexual health and rights, specifically those related to sexuality. Young people must be provided with the basic right to be themselves and from there be given the resources and skills needed to make wise decisions and lead healthy lives.