On Sunday, March 18, 2012 SCORA sent seven peer educators to lead peer discussions on reproductive health. But this was not their normal sessions as the delegations normally visit secondary schools. This Sunday was a special session as three different discussions were held (one for men in Arabic, and two for women: French and Arabic) according to the needs of approximately 30 migrant students at Zico House. Armed with simple colored posters and their cumulated knowledge from medical school, the facilitators engaged the students in conversations on topics such as anatomy, breast cancer prevention and practicing safe sex. Of course, these are only a few of the questions that were posed, answered and shared. Among more serious topics discussed were FGM and the complex relationship between the HIV virus and AIDS. Students’ reactions ranged from thoughtful stares, muttered whispers and cackling laughs. By the end of the two and a half hour session life saving knowledge was exchanged and the students were grateful for the practical information that could be put to use immediately and shared with their loved ones. One more initiative for migrant workers in Lebanon; many more to come.
What is SCORA? The Standing Committee on Reproductive Health including AIDS (SCORA) is a medical student association founded at the American University of Beirut under the supervision of IFMSA. IFMSA is a known international medical student association that encompasses about 400,000 medical students from more than 90 countries collaborating with the WHO and several UN agencies.
In Lebanon, SCORA works in close cooperation with the National AIDS program (NAP), and the Ministry of Health in order to promote awareness about HIV-AIDS , and other sexually transmitted disease among the Lebanese youth population. This is accomplished through many projects such as workshops, awareness campaigns during World AIDS Day on December 1st and most importantly Peer-education.