YOUNG GIRLS EMPOWERMENT FORUM ON EARLY MARRIAGES, PREGNANCIES AND SEXUAL EDUCATION
· To enable participants acquire knowledge on the consequences of early marriages, early sexual activities and resultant early pregnancies
Song and dance prevailed TYSA sporting center as the organisation raised a red flag on early pregnancies, early marriages and school drop out
In a research outcome from the Empowering Rural Girls through Sports project being implemented by TYSA - on problems affecting rural girls, early pregnancies, marriages and school dropout which toped the list were found to be emerging at an alarming rate within four villages
It emerged from the forum that girls are missing vital information on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health, lack of protection from community and its institutions, violation of children Rights with impunity, and lack of safety nets for vulnerable girls. We don’t report cases of abuse, rape or pregnancies to the local chiefs because they are compromised a student
What needs to be done?
When asked how they thought these problems could be dealt with, they gave the following responses among many others:-
· In the case of harsh parents, the girls requested that time be found and a session organized to talk to their parents about their plight.
· As for poverty, it could be tackled by approaching organizations like TYSA and others who can either organise for bursaries or link them up with those who could help them get scholarships for education.
· We encouraged them that education is good and cited examples of people in the community who have made it in life and are successful after working hard in school.
· Being married off against their wishes and harassment by male teachers was quite a sad story. One girl stood up and said “When we report to the Chiefs, they are bribed into silencing us, our teachers are also bribed, the police are bribed, we have nowhere to report our cases.”
With scuh forums on the community, girls have unique opportunities to develop resilience.
Our project has become a beckon of hope for these girls who the community had neglected and condemned just because they had become mothers at the tender age of 15 years or below. ‘I did not know that to do with my life after I discovered that I was pregnant. I knew my life is now wasted and my dream shuttered. Thanks to TYSA for counseling me’. Ms Rehema Over the last two years, we have touched and transformed lives of over 200 teenage mothers, vulnerable and at risk girls by increasing their educational opportunities through school fees support, school placement, guiding and counseling, school uniform support and exposure for learning. Irene is one such girl whose dream was almost shuttered. When Irene did her primary school examinations, she got good grade to take her to secondary school. However, her family background is poor and she could not continue with her education. ‘I was so devastated by the fact that I had passed by primary examinations and could not proceed to secondary education. Today I am very happy as Iam in school and more so the Assistant Head Girl in my school’ Irene It’s March! Do you know what that means? It’s time for GlobalGiving’s first Bonus Day of the year! Starting at 12:00 am EDT on March 14th, GlobalGiving will be matching all donations made through www.globalgiving.org /2161 up to $1,000 per donor at 30%. Globalgiving has $50,000 available in matching funds. Matching will last until funds run out or until 11:59 pm EDT. So, we are encouraging you to make your donation early before the available match funds are over. TYSA depends on monthly donations from our GlobalGiving supporters. We count on your donations to help us transform lives of teenage mothers, their children and at risk girls. By donating on this matching day, you will help us pay examination fees for 25 girls who will be seating for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education this year. Each of these teenage mother students require US$ 50 to register for this very important National examination. If they do not register they will not be able to do the examination and their four years of study would go to waste.
16th February 2012, will remain a memorable day for Centrine Nafula . This is the day she finally carried her school bag in school uniform to Join Geta Secondary School. Centrine is the only girl in a family of six the rest are boys all who are being brought up by a single mother. She is 17 years old. More priorities have been directed towards the boys. Has not deterred her from pursuing her dream. She sat for her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education last year and scored 254 marks out of 500. Centrine has worked hard and hope to one day support her family.
Centrine is a talented footballer who has played at the primary school level to the provincials. Before Centrine joined TYSA, she was disappointed with life. She was feeling abandoned by the world. She was frustrated. I am very grateful to having joined TYSA which has natured my football talent and mentored me through my primary school.
Today Centrine is at her dream school where she hopes to develop her football talent and her education. The Principal of the school was confident that Centrine will contribute to the school prowess in football and education.
TYSA want to acknowledge that your continued support in school fees has enabled such girls like Centrine access education. There are 10 girls in Geta Secondary school whom you are supporting with school fees. Centrine is the 11th Girl. For the next four years, Centrine will depend on the kind donations to support her education.