We are addressing school dropouts aged 13 to 19, due to teen pregnancy in the Dominican Republic. 20% of the girls aged 15-19 years, drop out of schools due to teen pregnancy. Our solution, the 'Let's Chat' platform is a multidimensional sex education and awareness platform, that aims at breaking taboos and providing knowledge and awareness regarding sex and relationship, to male and female teens aged 13-18 years. The solution utilizes behavioral nudge theory and pop culture to address the issue.
The global challenge we are addressing are young adults dropping out of school and having no access to education and a full life. We are specifically focusing on addressing the issue of school dropouts, aged 13 to 18 due to teen pregnancy in the Dominican Republic. 22% of births in the Dominican Republic are from mothers aged 15-19 years old and this rate is 34% higher than the Latin American and Caribbean regional average. This means that girls are dropping out of school and not unleashing their full potential.
Teen pregnancy is happening because sex and relationship education is not being taught by parents and/or schools. This is because the Dominican Republic is a Catholic country and it is considered a taboo to discuss issues of sex and the body, both publicly and within the family.
Our solution is a multidimensional sex education and awareness platform utilizing online social media channels, and offline engagement using facilitated workshops, to raise awareness about sex and the body through a youthful voice in an entertaining way. Our target group is teenage boys and girls aged 13 to 18 years old in the Dominican Republic. The “Let’s Chat” platform focuses on educating youth about sex through story-sharing and Q&A in the format of sharing real life stories and experiences and giving teens an opportunity to ask anonymous questions and doubts. This will be answered by a team of experts and the data collected will form part of a podcast/video series.
Our customers are sponsors and brands who aim at targetingt youth audience on social media platforms. Our users will be young teenage boys and girls between the ages of 13-18 who will use our platform because it fulfills their curiosity about sex and their bodies in an engaging, informative and entertaining manner, allowing them to ask questions that they are typically not allowed to.
Our solution is unique and innovative as it introduces a participatory element, with privacy, through confidentiality and anonymity. It utilizes behavioral insights and nudges, by leveraging pop culture and influencers, to attract young teens, and demystify issues related to sex and relationships.
Our competitors are:
- Local NGOs
- UNFPA: It is one of the major contributors to sex and reproductive health education and awareness, and can be a potential partner.
- Government – can also be a potential partner. 4. The Church – because it preaches abstinence.
Our solution has not been done or successfully implemented before, because there is high cultural and religious taboo in the Dominican Republic which does not allow ‘sex’ to be discussed easily, in public and even in a private manner (with parents and teachers). Therefore, young people do not know how to ask about their bodies or know where to access contraception and services.
We are bringing a change in the behavior of young people using nudge theory, in for example pop culture. We will use survey methodology to implement surveys before and at regular intervals check the change in knowledge and reduction in stigma. We will also check the rates of school dropouts to measure the impact, and, utilize digital analytics methods and tools to measure engagement on our social media channels.
Our solution will be rolled out as a pilot program which will last 3-6 months, in one rural area, Estebania, where 40% of the girls between age 15-19 years are teen mothers, and one urban area Domingo Sabio. This phase will help us in user acquisition and give us insights for the next phase.
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