This paper reports on the experience of the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) in adopting Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) in understanding the life planning and reproductive health needs of young people in Nigeria. The tools used were focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and in-depth interviews. The lessons learnt were that pre-marital sexual relations are major reproductive health problems amongst adolescents. The problems associated with these were unwanted pregnancies and withdrawal from school by young girls. Also, multiple sexual partners increased the risk of sexually transmitted infection, including HIV/AIDS. It was found that risky behaviour was engaged in due to ignorance about human physiology and physical development. From this basis participatory methodologies were used in designing an acceptable school-based sexuality programme.
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International Institute for Environment and Development