Keeping Girls in School and Reducing Teen Pregnancies Through Reproductive Health Education and Safe Latrines at School
ABADATEZUKA KU MURIMO
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. Additionally, most of the parents in this community report that they are uncomfortable talking to their children about sex. Consequently, misconceptions about important topics like HIV/AIDS and pregnancy abound. 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 this school, 51 percent of them did so because they became pregnant.
Drop out rates for girls are also impacted by a lack of adequate washing facilities, which forces girls to stay home during menstruation, subsequently causing them to fall behind in their studies, and fail their classes.
The Perseverance team is addressing this issue from several different angles. They will be conducting individual visits with families of young girls, as well as conducting larger trainings to dispel myths about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS to students, parents and the community at large. They are also building a shower facility for girls to use at school during menstruation and teaching the community about the importance of gender equality.
In conducting their issues study, this group found that a 87 percent of the men dating high school girls are bicycle taxi or moto drivers, and so they expanded their plan to targeting that population as well.
During the first twelve months of operations, this team plans to:
- Build a shower at the school to enable girls to have a place to wash during menstruation
- Train 80 students from the Mahembe Primary School, and 40 community leaders about reproductive health
- Train 30 bicycle taxi and moto drivers about HIV, reproductive health and condom usage
- Encourage mothers to discuss sexual safety more openly with their daughters
- Hold monthly meetings to educate the public about providing equal opportunities to boys and girls, as well as HIV/AIDS awareness
- Reduce unwanted pregnancy cases by 30%
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