Uganda has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 46% of girls married before age 18 (UNFPA 2012). Statistics indicate Northern and Eastern Uganda leading in child marriages.This project will train 500 school girls to guard against early pregnancies and create a safer community. 300 guardians will learn to support young girls through healthy discussion of reproductive health topics, such as management of menstruation and strategies to avoid teenage pregnancies.
Statistics show over 75% of school drop outs among girls in Uganda are due to teenage pregnancy. Instead of becoming well-educated community leaders that improve the economic status of Uganda, these girls will be forced to get low-paying jobs. School-aged children represent the future of Uganda, but the loss of so many girls is severely restricting our develompent.
The program will organize training and sensitization among schoolgoing and non-schoolgoing girls. We will discuss practices of managing menstruation and methods of avoiding teenage pregnancy. Attendees will create action plans to ensure their understanding and acceptance of the topics at hand. Trainings will also improve the parent or guardian's role by encouraging open discussion with their girls. Teachers will attain the necessary skills to guide young girls in and out of their classrooms.
Community leaders will be involved in teenage pregnancy prevention. The second part of the project will focus on following up with participants in schools and homes to learn about the progress of the student's action plans created during the training workshop. In the past, communities have been very receptive to new techniques of preventing teenage pregnancy and supporting schoolgirls. We hope this impact will continue to improve enrollment of young people in school.