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ISLAMICommentary: Let’s Tweet About Sex? Frank Talk About Teen Health, LGBT Rights, and Family Planning in Indonesia
America’s Unofficial Ambassadors’ volunteer, Sarah Wall, worked in Indonesia at a center that provides sexual education and reproductive services to at-risk youth. She shared her experience with the ISLAMICommentary, a public scholarship forum through Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center.
Would you be surprised to see a devout Muslim female coworker tenderly embrace a transgender woman in a green, sparkly hijab before a weekly Qur’an lesson at an Indonesian youth center?
For the staff at the PKBI Youth Center, it’s all in a day’s work. And their work is an extension of their religious beliefs, not a conflict of interest.
PKBI is short for The Family Planning Association of Indonesia, Jogyakarta, and a branch of Indonesia’s International Planned Parenthood Association member organization. Its Youth Center supplements the organization’s health clinics with advocacy and outreach programs, and houses Lentera Sahaja (Youth School), the Community Organizing Program (LGBT, sex worker, and street youth) and two supporting programs, the Center for Sexuality Studies, and the Media Training Division.
“We provide sexual education so that marginalized communities can make better health choices and protect themselves from the risks of sexual disease,” explains Gama Triono, a community organizer with PKBI’s youth center. “Everyone we come into contact with is marginalized. All of the people and communities we work with are underserved.”