Keeping Girls in School and Reducing Teen Pregnancies Through Reproductive Health Education and Safe Latrines at School
Issue: Students at Mahembe primary school, who are up to fifteen years of age, receive no education on reproductive health or body maturation from their school and most parents in this community report that they are uncomfortable talking to their children about sex. Consequently, there are many misconceptions about important topics such as HIV/AIDS and pregnancy. For instance, 63 percent of female students interviewed thought that a girl could only get pregnant if she had sex more than once. Among female students who have dropped out of Mahembe primary school, 51 percent did so because they were pregnant. Drop out rates for girls are also impacted by a lack of adequate washing facilities, which forces girls to stay home during menstruation, causing them to fall behind in their studies and fail their classes. We also found that 87 percent of the men dating high school girls are bicycle taxi or moto drivers so our program will target that population as well parents, teachers, and students.
Mission: To provide sexual and reproductive health education and hygiene facilities for girls.
Solution: We are addressing this issue in several ways. First, we conduct individual visits with families of young girls. We also conduct larger trainings to dispel myths about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS to students, parents, and the community at large. We are also building a shower facility at the school for girls to use during menstruation and we are teaching the community about the importance of gender equality. We hold monthly meetings to educate the public about providing equal opportunities to boys and girls and sensitize the community as well as about HIV/AIDS awareness.
- Within 1 year, we will build a shower at the school to enable girls to have a place to wash during menstruation
- Within 1 year, 80 students from the Mahembe Primary School, and 40 community leaders will have learned about reproductive health
- In 1 year, 30 bicycle taxi and moto drivers will be sensitized about HIV, reproductive health, and condom use
- Within 1 year, mothers will discuss safe sex more openly with their daughters
- Within 1 year, unwanted pregnancy cases will be reduced by 30%
Location: Mahembe Sector, Byimana District Team Members: 19 Beneficiaries: 200 Launched: 2014
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