Heylin, a Bayan staff member, welcomes parents and students who participate in a workshop.
A needs assessment was conducted during the initial stage of HEY!. As a result, we identified 8 main issues that needed to be addressed in order to develop a curriculum to prevent child marriage in rural areas of Honduras*:
1. Prevalence of gender inequality in families and society at large
2. Lack of awareness about the biological, psychosocial, and cognitive changes that occur during adolescence
3. Adolescents are not aware of the consequences of child marriage and hold false beliefs about child marriage
4. Impulsive decision-making processes in adolescents regarding romantic relationships
5. Prevalence of unhealthy romantic relationships among teenagers
6. Lack of awareness of the legislation that protects bodily integrity, particularly of minors by community members, parents, and students
7. Limited knowledge and access to sexual reproductive health (SRH) resources
8. Conflict at home/ poor communication between parents and children
A deep understanding of these issues guided the design, development and implementation of HEY!
For a broader discussion of these issues, see Chapter 5 of Pacheco Montoya (2019).
*It is important to note that while we recognize the opportunity to create a school-based intervention with Bayan targeted at addressing the causes of child marriage, we also are aware that there are structural causes of child marriage such as poverty, state fragility, and lack of economic and educational opportunities are beyond the scope of the impact of schools can be expected to change. The purpose of this research-practice partnership is to enhance/add on to the SAT curriculum with materials that more explicitly examine social norms, family relationships, knowledge about child marriage, and decision-making processes. With these ideas in mind, HEY! was created with the goal of helping students think critically and make informed decisions about marriage in a setting of a constrained choice set, given the socio-political and economic context.