By Dina Chaerani, Elvita Trisnawati and Fatimah Huurin Jannah | September 6, 2023
Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) has long been a topic of contention, often fraught with misinformation, taboo, and inadequate resources. But amidst these challenges, innovators, youth-led organisations, and even NGOs are stepping up to make a difference. Who expected that one such innovation-making wave came from three Indonesian Youths who established Sexdugram, an Instagram-based initiative that revolutionised how CSE is delivered, discussed, and embraced.
Coming from an underprivileged family background has opened our eyes and minds to the fact that we have to fight and work hard to fulfill the fundamental rights that are supposed to be served and ready for us. One of those fundamental rights is CSE. The first question that might pop up is, “Why do we have to think of CSE? As if there is no other more important stuff that the government or society needs to take care of?”. To begin this discussion, let us share how and why CSE is vital for many people, especially young girls, and women, just like us, the co-founders of Sexdugram — and why we work hard in this field.
Sexdugram was born from the Innovation Challenge at the YTH Live Global 2022 conference hosted by ETR. The Innovation Challenge encourages creative minds to tackle pressing global health issues. Sexdugram, the brainchild of dedicated individuals passionate about promoting accurate sexual health information, aimed to bridge the gap between the curiosity of young people and the reliable resources they need. There are three co-founders of Sexdugram, Dina Chaerani, Elvita Trisnawati, and Fatimah Huurin Jannah. We are Indonesian youths who have dedicated ourselves to being SRHR advocates since we were teenagers.
The journey was far from smooth sailing. Our team faced skepticism, pushback, and hurdles to gain a foothold in a digital landscape crowded with information of varying quality. Yet, it was these challenges that fortified our resolve. We recognised the issue’s urgency and understood that young people deserved a source of credible, non-judgmental knowledge tailored to their needs.
With the world increasingly turning to social media for information, Sexdugram recognised the potential of Instagram as a powerful tool for education. We tapped into the visual appeal of the platform, creating engaging graphics, short videos (reels), and interactive stories that present accurate sexual health information in an accessible and non-threatening way.
As Sexdugram’s content gained traction, it became evident that its approach resonated with a broad audience. The engagement numbers spoke for themselves: likes, comments, and shares poured in, indicating that Sexdugram was filling a void in the sexual health education space. This success emboldened our team to expand our offerings and dive deeper into various aspects of sexual health, relationships, and consent.
One of Sexdugram’s most significant achievements has been its ability to dismantle taboos and foster open conversations around sexual health. By addressing topics that are often considered off-limits, we are helping to break down the stigmas that have hindered healthy discussions in the past. Our content encourages individuals to embrace their bodies, make informed decisions, and communicate effectively with partners.
Sexdugram’s influence extends beyond Instagram. One of the founders, Dina Chaerani was selected as the 2023 Cohort of Young Global Changers Recoupling Awards and represented Sexdugram as her innovation. She also represented Sexdugram as a speaker at the Digital Bootcamp 2022 Digital Sexuality Education in the Asia-Pacific hosted by UNFPA Indonesia. Dina was also selected as a member of the Youth Advisory Group for Measuring Youth Sexual Reproductive Health (MY-SRH) by Metrics for Management at the Women Deliver Conference 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda. At the conference, she had a tremendous discussion with 21 other youth advisory members about how to measure and improve the quality of SRH Services for youth. Additionally, Aflatoun International is also approaching Dina to be the expert in developing the Aflateen Curriculum that will be implemented across the globe by Aflatoun International, its partner network, and governments.
As Sexdugram moves forward, its vision remains steadfast: to ensure everyone has access to accurate and inclusive sexual health education. We are actively working on our next project, where we will: launch digital comics that share CSE stories based on true events in Indonesia, host a wealth of resources, foster a safe space for discussions, and collaborate with experts to maintain the highest standards of information.
Sexdugram’s success story hopefully will inspire anyone seeking to drive positive change. As the Innovation Challenge gears up for this year of fostering innovation and progress, there’s no better time to get involved. If you have an idea, a passion, or a vision for making a difference in global health, this is your opportunity to shine. Submit your ideas here by September 8, 2023. Don’t forget to register to attend YTH Live Global 2023, where all attendees have the opportunity to vote on the winner of the 2023 Innovation Challenge.
Sexdugram’s journey exemplifies the power of innovation, passion, and education in transforming lives. Through our creative use of social media, we have successfully dismantled barriers to sexual health education, paving the way for healthier relationships, empowered decisions, and a more inclusive society. As we look to the future, Sexdugram has reminded three of us that change is not just possible; it’s within our grasp.
Dina Chaerani (she/her/hers) is a seasoned SRHR advocate, who empowers marginalized communities through transformative initiatives. She is the Co-Founder of Sexdugram and Founder of Lapor Yuk! Application: She fosters sexual health awareness and prevents violence against children. Currently working as a Programme Associate at YIELD Hub, she is advancing the youth partnership in SRHR fields. With a background in Development Studies, she bridges gaps through culturally sensitive workshops, policy advocacy, and impactful collaborations. Dina’s empathetic engagement and evidence-based approach drive inclusive SRHR advancements in Indonesia. She was awarded the ETR’s Digital Innovation Sexuality Education Challenge 2022, and she can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.