Countering ICPD25: Human-Dignity Based Curriculum, Not Comprehensive Sexuality Education

World Youth Alliance President Lord Leomer Pomperada making a presentation during ICPD25 side event in Nairobi on November 11, 2019

In an effort to counter some of the agenda guiding the planned ICPD25, the Nairobi Summit organized to commemorate 25 years since the last International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), a global youth movement is advocating for a Human-Dignity based Curriculum (HDC) instead of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), the latter among the themes of ICPD25.

“One of the main objectives of this curriculum (HDC) is (not just) to offer an alternative to CSE but a much greater goal for that is to really instill an understanding of who they are, who they can become and on to behavioral changes,” the President of the World Youth Alliance (WYA), Lord Leomer Pomperada told ACI Africa Monday, November 11 referencing school children as beneficiaries of HDC.

“We saw this (CSE) was something very problematic, something that we needed to propose an alternative,” Pomperada said and disclosed, “We worked with our partners and schools to develop this curriculum (HDC) so that many governments and other countries, we do not just tell them CSE is bad but we tell them it's bad but we have a solution for you.”

The criticism against CSE is consistent with the expressions of the Holy See about ICPD25, the latter having described CSE as one of the “controversial and divisive issues” of the Nairobi Summit.

Rather than expend time on the so-called reproductive rights, the Holy See expected the organizers of the Nairobi Summit to focus on more critical issues that include seeking to restore the dignity of women and children in the face of poverty, migration, promoting the culture of peace, among others.


According to Pomperada, WYA developed HDC after encountering CSE at the United Nations.

Among the issues that Pomperada’s WYA faults in CSE is the content of such syllabus consisting of “things that should not be learnt by kids especially in many parts of the world where it is against their culture.”

“One of the major issues in the CSE is really the topics being taught in schools to students for instance a four-year-old student being taught about masturbation or a six-year-old being taught about secret love and same sex relationships,” Pomperada, a Consular and Diplomatic Affairs graduate told ACI Africa and added, “These topics they have not consulted with the teachers and the parents, they just go to the school and country and bring the curriculum.”

Unlike CSE, which leans heavily on issues of sexuality, HDC that targets kindergarten to Grade 8 (K-8) students “aims to help students understand who they are and who they can become” with lessons helping them understand more about human dignity and develop their sense of worth and purpose.”

To date, the President revealed that the HDC curriculum has been implemented in 10 countries in five continents around the world, among them the United States, Mexico, Philippines, Lebanon, Ukraine, Romania as well as in Africa, including Kenya and plans underway for Nigeria and Tanzania.

More in Africa

“In Kenya, we just started a couple of months ago and we are working on this pilot with the Mercy Education Office (Sisters of Mercy),” Pomperada told ACI Africa and added, “We are working with first two partner schools, St. Elizabeth and St. Catherine where we started the pilot in October and so far we have seen really a success based on the feedback from the teachers.”

In Tanzania and Nigeria, the movement is working with the Bishops’ Conferences, Pomperada disclosed, noting the openness of the Church leaders to HDC.

There is a possiblity that this new curriculum will be extended to Uganda, as WYA President confirmed saying, "Yesterday we were talking with our partners from Uganda and they said they have been looking for alternatives."

“In Tanzania we are working with the Archbishop from Mwanza (Renatus Leonard Nkwande) and we began conversations early this year and the country is integrating both human dignity curriculum and self-health program,” WYA President said.

“In Nigeria, some of the schools that we have worked with are willing to use the curriculum in English so it's readily available. For now, we just in the process of identifying which are going to be the initial schools and the timeline for that process,” Pomperada, a Philippine national told ACI Africa.


HDC, which has received government approval in Croatia and the Philippines and is being implemented in several public schools in the two countries involves 7 hour-lessons per year, which are integrated into a school’s teaching schedule.

This curriculum “can be integrated into an existing program on values and virtues or even an after-school program,” Pomperada said.

“In the coming year, we are starting to work on the high school version of the curriculum; we will also be working on Grade 9-12,” he said and added, “We are also translating the curriculum into four new languages – Hungarian, Spanish, Swahili, and one more language.”

According to Jane Kariuki, a participant in a session organised by WYA, HDC is an “incredible value-based curriculum that teaches the uniqueness of human beings.”

“These guys (WYA) have gotten it in the area of values and it would be amazing if more schools can adopt this. It's good to know we have an alternative to CSE; we are not just saying no to it, but we have a better option,” Ms. Kariuki told ACI Africa Monday, November 11.

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The World Youth Alliance, is a global youth movement started in 1999 with the inspiration of 21-year-old Canadian Anna Halphine who stood up for human dignity during a UN conference. Since then, the movement has grown to more than one million membership in over 160 countries, who committed to promoting and defending the dignity of the human person.