The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Beyond 'the facts'

ELCA-supported groups help Senegalese girls learn the miracles of life and self

Sitting among her peers in a small cement room on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal, 17-year-old Sali Cisse has a pertinent question for members of her family life education group: "Isn't there a pill you can take after you have been with a boy that will make you a virgin again?"

Ten other teenagers listen attentively. It's a good question. After all, in the past two months they've learned about all sorts of other miracles: family planning methods, the meaning of menstruation, how pregnancy occurs, and how cultural gender definitions affect one's view of self.

But this time, peer educator Salamata Kebe, a 23-year-old former participant in the program, must explain that no such miracle pill exists.

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February issue


Embracing diversity