Poverty, arranged marriages and teen pregnancies are the most important reasons for girls in Karamoja to leave school prematurely. Our sponsor program helps poor girls to go to school and to prevent arranged marriages. We do our utmost to prevent teen pregnancies. This week our local partner KAPDA in Kaabong:
Prevention of teen pregnancies starts with sexual education. We think it important to talk with our students about sexuality. Our arrangement is : first a diploma. We advise boys and girls to wait until after graduation and until they have found a good partner. It is hard for teen mums to finish their education after giving birth. If waiting is not an option, use contraceptives to prevent a pregnancy and STD’s.
Talks with parents/caretakers
Parents and caretakers can play an important role in preventing teen pregnancies. They often are not aware of that. They don’t dare to talk with their children about sexuality. At school these themes are not discussed often. We support the parents in this matter and point out their responsibilities. Keeping an eye out on their daughters can prevent her from going out on the streets at night, avoiding the use of alcohol and drugs, clear rules and most of all lots of talking.
The girls in puberty are regularly tested on pregnancies. We do this with the help of employees of the local hospital. Privacy is very important: the test results are shared with the girls only. The pregnancy test is taken in a separate room, alone or in the presence of at least two friends or female staff.
What if the result is positive ?
When the result if positive, steps to be taken are discussed with the girl in an calm way. Like informing the father of the child, talks with parents / caretakers and plans for the near future and beyond. A positive test does not always mean removing her from our sponsor program. We do want to think together about suitable solutions for mother and child. At this moment we support a total of 5 girls who have a baby.