Happy faces during a school outreach by HFAW
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters,
Nyamira County is number 5 in preference rate out of 47 counties in Kenya. Months ago, we began noticing a crisis in rising number of young girls getting pregnant while in primary school. HFAW has been trying to reach out to schools to speak to parents, teachers and students on child abuse, early pregnancy, GBV, sexual reproductive health rights and FGM.
When a girl gets pregnant that becomes the end of her schooling. There is a perception that they have become women and yet they are children getting children. Very little work has been done to reduce early pregnancy in our county.
In mid-July, 2018, 9 girls have become pregnant in a local school. These girls are said to be 15- 17 years old.
"The pregnancies are due to boda boda(motorcycle) riders and poor parenting," commented Charles, the school head. "The pregnancies are spread across all the classes in the institution." Added Charles.
"This is a crisis, how can 9 girls get pregnant in the same school at the same time?" Expressed Joyce, HFAW grassroots coordinator.
HFAW CHHRPs have been mentoring girls in schools so that they can be retained in schools. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to reach as many schools including this local school with 9 pregnancies. We have been able to go to schools with messages of early pregnancy, child safeguarding, FGM, GBV and advancement of human rights.
The Kenyan Justice system is slow. In Rape cases or any form of sexual abuse, girls are often hesitant to follow up on a case in court. This is a body which HFAW is also involving in ending Early Pregnancy.
This Education has also helped men as well.
"You know, when you put me on the spot I thought you were cruel but now I appreciate your way of doing things. I thank you for putting up with us." Said one of the men during a training in Nyamira.
"This mesages have helped me know the importance of having self esteem and saying No to unwanted sex," said one of the girls after a dramatization by the CHHRPs.
"Through this education, I have learnt that I should protect my sisters against sexual abuse." Added one of the boys.
"If you were able to reach more schools, this could lead to reduction of pregnancies in schools," commented a teacher from Tindereti Primary School.
Early pregnancy affects not only girls but the whole community because it robs girls of their potential. Educated Girls develop skills, knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions including if, when and whom to marry.
It is for this reason that we are seeking your support. These are children getting babies. We know we have come to you over and over again to support us. We do this because we know you care about our cause. Together, let us end Early Pregnancy and provide an opportunity for these girls to move from domestic environment to literacy and getting exposure to new ideas and value systems.
Some of the donations and grants are also used to train law enforcement officers and health care providers who are assisting us on holding perpetrators of FGM and GBV accountable. This project however has not been able to raise as much on Global Giving. We acknowledge and appreciate our funders I.e. the Girl Generation, AWDF and United Methodist Women who have helped us run this project as well.
We sincerely thank you our Global Giving friends and Supporters for supporting us and walking with us through every step of the way. We appreciate that you are part of us. This will be a long journey but worth it at the end after reducing the numbers of early pregnancies and finally ending it.
Winnierose N Sululu
Girl pledging to say No to Unwanted Sex
Boy vowing to advocate against rape
Law enforcement officers during a training
Teacher asking HFAW to reach more schools wthmessa
Girl showcasing a message after school outreach.