Updated: 2 days ago
Dear friends and followers,
In a world that often shies away from discussing sensitive topics, there's a growing need for inclusive, and realistic sex education that goes beyond the basics. This is particularly true when it comes to addressing baby loss and fertility challenges.
On the 6th of June 2023, I posted a photo on my socials, of my rainbow baby and I, along with a caption expressing my opinion on the importance of proper reproductive education in high school. The response from the community was overwhelming, sparking a range of opinions and stories that highlighted the urgency for change.
As I read through some of the stories shared with me, it got me thinking and it ignited a passion within me to drive the conversation forward, however I can to work towards creating positive change.
Some of you may know that I've been working on a project behind the scenes for some time and today, I am excited to introduce you to the campaign that advocates to break the silence and pave the way for open, informed conversations, starting in Australian high school sex education.
Welcome to The Reproductive Realities Project.
What does "beyond the basics" mean?
By that I mean, the aim is to move beyond the traditional sex education approach, which often focuses solely on reproductive mechanics, conveys misleading messages (sex = a living baby), and provides minimal information on contraception (i.e - how to put a banana on condom just doesn't cut it)
Instead, this campaign wants to see schools encourage open and age-appropriate conversations, breaking down barriers of stigma and shame surrounding these sensitive topics. By addressing real-life challenges, I believe we can better prepare students for the complexities of starting and growing a family, building a foundational layer of understanding empathy, respect, and resilience in the next generation.
Why "The Reproductive Realities Project"?
The name was chosen for several reasons, including the input of my @chaycen_adventure followers through poll voting. However, the name also deeply aligns with the core vision and mission of the campaign.
What is the vision?
I envision a society where every student, regardless of their background, has access to realistic and inclusive reproductive education. A society where young minds are unafraid to discuss life challenges, where individuals are empowered to support and advocate for one another, where compassion and inclusion drive a more compassionate and inclusive world. Through research, advocacy, and community engagement, this campaign will seek to break down taboos, challenge stereotypes, and foster open conversations about reproductive realities. The ultimate mission is to ensure that every student receives age-appropriate education, preparing them for a future that respects and values each individual's reproductive journey.
You can read more about the campaign over at the website.
Addressing Potential Concerns
Reproductive education may understandably raise concerns among some. Our current generation is not entirely familiar with navigating these sensitive topics in a safe and supportive manner, so I have addressed some common concerns that have already been raised, including the "burden of information" and the delicacy of addressing "sensitive topics", among others. I want to assure everyone that their opinion will be heard and respected.
Invitation to share your personal testimony
As part of my launch strategy, I have this bold idea to extend an exclusive invitation to you, my incredible followers, to take part in this journey with me. Your experience matters, and your story will make a meaningful impact.
Today, im excited to introduce you to two impactful ways you can contribute your voice to this movement: through written and video testimonies.
By sharing your story, you are helping us create a space where people can learn, support, and grow together. Your courage will inspire others to break down stigmas and encourage open conversations about baby loss and fertility challenges. Our research efforts aim to shed light on the profound impact that reproductive realities have on everyday people. We recognize that as a society, we often overlook or downplay these life experiences. By gathering personal experiences and stories, we aim to showcase the depth of these experiences and the resilience of those who face them. Your participation in this research will help us bring attention to the reality of these issues, fostering a more open and compassionate dialogue around reproductive health and education. Your insights will contribute to our advocacy for a curriculum that addresses these essential topics, ensuring that future generations are better equipped to navigate these realities with empathy and understanding. Thank you for being a part of this important endeavor.
What is a testimony you ask?
A testimony is a personal account or narrative of one's experiences, beliefs, thoughts, or emotions related to a specific event, topic, or aspect of their life. It is a firsthand expression of what someone has witnessed, gone through, learned, or felt. Testimonies often hold a significant place in discussions, conversations, or movements as they provide authentic insights into individual experiences, contributing to a broader understanding of various subjects.
Step 1: Click on this link to access the Community Survey.
Step 2: Answer the guiding questions within the survey to share your thoughts and experiences.
Step 3: Your written testimony will be included in our online library, inspiring others and contributing to a more inclusive dialogue.
Be honest and open about your journey.
Keep your responses concise and heartfelt.
Write in a clear and straightforward manner.
Use language that is easy to understand so that your message reaches a wide audience.
Step 1: Record a short video answering the guiding questions provided.
Step 2: Create your video in a well-lit, quiet space for clear audio and visuals.
Step 3: Follow the video submission instructions below. Make sure you specify your Instagram handle so that I can tag you!
Guiding Questions: In your video, please answer the following questions:
Your name? "My name is.."
Where are you from? "I'm from .."
What do you remember learning in sex education? "I remember learning.."
What do you wish you had known about baby loss and fertility challenges? "I wish I knew.."
Optional questions for those who have experienced loss;
Briefly share your personal journey, including the nature of your loss and/or fertility challenges (share only what you feel comfortable sharing)
What is your baby/s name? "My babys name/s is..."
How old would your baby/s be? "If my baby/s was here he/she/they would be ....
Guidelines for Sharing:
Videos should be approximately 2-3 minutes long.
Speak from the heart, as your authenticity will help others connect with your story.
Please ensure good lighting and clear audio for better visibility and understanding.
Find a quiet and clutter-free area to record your video.
Position your camera at eye level for a natural connection
Tips for recording:
Background Selection: Opt for a background that is simple and doesn't distract from your message. A plain wall, a neatly arranged bookshelf, or a softly lit room can work well.
Lighting: Natural light is your best friend. Position yourself facing a window or a source of soft, diffused light. Avoid harsh backlighting that can obscure your face.
Camera Angle: Set up your camera or device at eye level. This creates a more engaging and intimate connection with your audience.
Camera Stability: Use a tripod or stabilize your camera to avoid shaky footage. If you don't have a tripod, prop up your device securely on a stable surface.
Minimize Distractions: Remove any potential distractions from the frame. This could include busy patterns, moving objects, or bright lights that draw attention away from you.
Noise Reduction: Choose a quiet environment to minimize background noise. Close windows if there's street noise and let others in your space know you're recording.
Attire: Wear clothing that you feel comfortable and confident in. Solid colors often work well on camera and avoid busy patterns that might be distracting.
Framing: Position yourself in the center of the frame, allowing some space above your head and maintaining a comfortable distance from the camera.
Test Recording: Do a quick test recording to ensure your chosen space looks visually appealing and that your face is well-lit and visible.
Sharing Your Video: Choose one of two submission options for your video:
Option 1: Email Submission: Attach your video to an email and send it to email@example.com. Use "Video Testimony Submission" as the subject line.
Option 2: Google Drive Submission: Click on the provided google drive folder and upload your video. Make sure to title your video with your name for identification.
How you can get involved
Join Us in Driving Positive Change
I believe that achieving our goals requires collaboration and support from individuals, organizations, charities, businesses, and the wider community.
I simply cannot do this alone. Your involvement can make a significant difference in the lives of young people, empowering them with essential knowledge for their futures and fostering a culture of understanding and empathy. Whether you're an individual, an organization, a charity or a business, your support is vital to this campaign, join me in creating a future where realistic and inclusive reproductive education is the norm.
Complete Our Community and/or Teacher Survey: Share your valuable insights, experiences, and perspectives to shape our strategies and address the real needs of our community. Click here to learn more
Volunteer Your Skills: Whether you're a digital enthusiast, a researcher, a communications expert, or a community liaison, we welcome volunteers from all walks of life. Your unique talents can contribute to the campaign's success. Click here to learn more
Become a Campaign Support Member: By volunteering, advocating, partnering, or collaborating with us, you can help amplify our message and broaden our reach. Click here to learn more
Offer In-Kind Support: If you have resources, services, or expertise that could benefit the campaign, consider offering in-kind support. Your contribution can be invaluable in driving positive change. Click here to learn more
Have Your Say - If you decide to answer the optional "Have Your Say" survey questions. your response will be anonymously added to the Online Library. You can check it out here.
Sponsor or Donate: Your generous financial support can fuel our campaign's efforts to create meaningful change. Every contribution, big or small, will help to bring this campaign one step closer to achieving its goals, plus we will be forever grateful. You can donate here.
Support us: Share our campaign on social media, engage with our content, encourage others to join the cause. Engage with our content - Like, comment, share, tag. Read our blogs posts.
Stay Updated: Keep an eye on the website and social media channels for updates, email alerts, events, and opportunities to get involved. You can subscribe to emails here.
As the campaign work towards its vision, we will collaborate with experts, educators, parents, and the wider community. Together, we can drive positive change and empower the next generation in their reproductive health journey.
Visit our website to explore opportunities, get involved, and learn more about our mission.
I know we are on the cusp of something extraordinary, and I want you to be right there with us. Your exclusive invitation to shape the narrative of this campaign is an opportunity to inspire change, break barriers, and empower others through your story.
Thank you for being a part of this important journey. Together, we can make a difference!