Press release: Rutgers WPF received prestigious international award

Rutgers WPF received the Award for Excellence & Innovation in Sexuality Education 2011 on 12 June 2011. This took place during the opening ceremony of the 20th World Congress of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) in Glasgow. Rutgers WPF received the award because of its strong and comprehensive programmes in the area of sexual and relational education and the groundbreaking work it has achieved in supporting organisations in developing countries.

Prize criteria

Rutgers WPF is the winner in the category of non-governmental organisations. According to the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) Rutgers WPF excelled in all the criteria considered, among others: relevance of programme to target group(s) and social context; evidence of evaluation and results; use of innovative concepts; relevance of methodology and materials used to target groups.

Years of expertise

Rutgers WPF, and the former Rutgers Nisso Groep and the Rutgers Stichting, have invested in sexual education since the sixties, with the result that the Dutch approach is  internationally seen as model for a low rate of teenage pregnancies, abortions and STIs/HIV. The interventions carried out by Rutgers WPF are based on scientific research and theoretical models of actual behaviour influence. Effect studies provide new insights into practice.

Sexual and relationship education in primary school

Rutgers WPF was the first organisation in Europe that promoted sexual and relationship education from a young age, preferably from lower primary school onwards.  This early learning lays the foundation for healthy sexual relationships later on. The aims, themes and methodologies of the sexual and relational education programmes are matched with the children's sexual development and social environment. Specific to the work of Rutgers WPF is the focus on positive and healthy sexual development of young people, by promoting knowledge, social and communicative skills and respect for others.

Information online

These days young people are mainly reached online and via social media. Together with STI/AIDS the Netherlands Rutgers WPF launched the youth website with confidential information relating to sexuality: www.sense.info. In the campaign ‘Speak easy on sex'  [Maak seks lekker duidelijk’] Rutgers WPF and STI/AIDS the Netherlands encourage young people to think about their wishes and boundaries by completing an online ‘manual’ and sharing this through the social network site, Hyves. The same campaign also comprises an educational online game in which young people can practise recognising and indicating their boundaries in situations that might escalate. Parents can receive information at www.uwkindenseks.nl, where, among others, demo films are shown on how to initiate a discussion with your teenage child.

International Centre of Expertise

Rutgers WPF has devoted itself to the promotion of the sexual and reproductive health and rights of people (in particular young people and women) in and outside the Netherlands for many years. The merger of Rutgers Nisso Groep and World Population Foundation (WPF) in January 2011 was a logical joining of forces in this area. Rutgers WPF also supports local organisations in developing countries in setting up their own information campaigns. Participation of the target group, i.e. young people, plays an important part in this.

 


Editorial note:

Should you require further information from Rutgers WPF on this subject, please contact the Communications Department at 030-231 34 31 or communicatie@rutgerswpf.nl.