Social Interaction and the Diffusion of Knowledge: BRAC’s Adolescent Reproductive Health Education (ARHE) Program in the Rural Areas of Bangladesh


The aim of the paper was to explore the socio-cultural effects of BRAC’s ARHE program and illustrate a process of social change at the community level and highlight any gaps in the program. ARHE knowledge is permeating to the peer network and family members, thus providing new ideas and information to not only young adolescent girls and boys in the program, but for those adolescents and adults who are not targeted by formal program strategies. ARHE has mobilized in breaking the silence and shame about ‘sensitive’ topics, and thus affected the relationships between adolescents and their parents, teachers, and amongst adolescents themselves positively. It is important, to remember that the ARHE program is functioning well in a strongly conservative and sensitive environment, and still managing to provide adolescents with information on sexuality and reproductive health, no matter how basic. This should be viewed as a great achievement of the program. Finally, for various reasons, such as poverty constraints, parents uneven knowledge about the program, power relations and a genuine felt need for the program, ARHE classes have been accepted in the rural areas of Nilphamari district.

Related information

  • Writer Name: Sabina Faiz Rashid, Mahmuda Akhter Sarker,Nicci Simmonds
  • Published Date: Sunday, 12 December 1999
  • Country: Bangladesh