Youth LEAD and CHIAs conduct the TeenGen v.2 Pilot Training in Vientiane, Lao PDR

Posted on Apr 18, 2024


On 6-7 April, Youth LEAD joined CHIAs in implementing their second TeenGen v.2 training in Vientiane, Lao PDR. This training is supported by UNESCO Regional Office in Bangkok and aims to pilot the TeenGen v.2 manual to in-school and out-of-school adolescents aged 14-18 years old in Lao PDR. This follows Youth LEAD’s efforts to revamp one of its core youth leadership manuals, TeenGen, which includes an inclusion of AMAZE videos and update of the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) content of TeenGen.

CHIAs conducted the first pilot training on 30-31 March, where participants learned more about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), as well as basic information on HIV awareness and prevention. These sessions included fun and engaging games and role playing activities specifically designed to be educational and youth-friendly.

On the second pilot training, Youth LEAD witnessed first-hand the energetic facilitation of CHIAs staff and their partner networks Takienglao and TestVTE. In the morning, participants roleplayed different forms of peer pressure, followed by a discussion on the different forms of violence young people may face, including sexual violence and grooming. The session included strategies on safeguarding, how to address violence, and keeping perpetrators accountable as well as a video presentation of the AMAZE video on Being Safe on the Internet


Roleplaying was seen as an effective and engaging teaching method for adolescents to envision themselves in different situations. Participants brainstormed and roleplayed scenarios such as what to do if someone wants to have sex, if you want to come out as LGBTIQ+, if you have HIV and want to tell your family, if your partner or friend is HIV positive, and if you have used drugs. 

The first day concluded with discussions on mental health, the causes of mental health issues among young people and strategies to manage and overcome them, as well as drug abuse and the different kinds of addictive substances. Notably, participants were knowledgeable on both topics adding that beauty standards for both men and women were causes of stress among young people and that some adolescents already engage in drug use. This further illustrates the knowledge and capacity of young people to engage in dialogue around sex, mental health, and drugs and that they are respectable experts on the experiences and issues faced by young people.

Practical knowledge on youth leadership, HIV testing and services were the focus of the second day. Participants played games to learn about becoming a more confident leader, protecting their rights and the rights of other young people. They also mapped health facilities in their respective communities, including community health centers where young people can access HIV testing, counselling and treatment. Participants generally claimed that most centers were youth-friendly, affordable, and accessible for young people which highlights the potential of assessing these centers for their youth-friendly services.


Overall, participants were receptive of all topics in the training. Owne (17) and Bigzy (18) both commented that the lessons they learned can be used in their lives. They thought that the activities discussing mental health such as understanding emotions, identifying stressors, and managing their mental health were particularly useful for young people. They were also keen to share what they have learned about HIV and SRHR to their friends. 

The TeenGen v.2 manual aims to establish and build the knowledge and skills of adolescent young people on HIV, SRHR, leadership and human rights. Still, many participants were curious to learn more. At the training wrap-up, participants had a rapid-fire question and answer session where they were able to ask additional questions about having sex before marriage, HIV infections, erections and masturbation, hormones, side effects of contraceptives, and more. Although some of these questions are already tackled in the training, their curiosity shows their eagerness to learn and equip themselves with more information on SRHR.