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Amplifying Young People’s Voices Against Teenage Pregnancies Mutoto Primary School Outreach

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 Teenage pregnancy is any pregnancy occurring between the ages of 10-19 years. The current teenage pregnancy rate in Uganda is at 25% and the highest in East Africa. According to the Ministry of Health, 25% of Ugandan teenagers become pregnant by the age of 19, close to half are married before their 18th birthday and continue having babies into their mid-40s. 64% have sex before age of 18, 34% are married before the age of 18. Uganda has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates, with 18 mothers dying every day in pregnancy or during and after childbirth. In 2019 Uganda ranked 16th out of 25 countries with the highest rate of child marriages with over 32000 teenage pregnancies recorded per month. Teenage pregnancy contributes to 20% of infant deaths and 28% of maternal death 

In abide to fighting the rising rate of teenage pregnancies in Uganda, Elite Youth of Uganda, Support Uganda Talent and other partners initiated the “ Amplifying Young People’s Voices Against Teenage Pregnancies Primary School Outreaches. this program is aimed at amplifying young people’s voices against teenage pregnancies in Mbale District where the rate of teenage pregnancies stands at 23% less by 2% to get the national rate, in this particular one we are using the peer to peer approach where the voices of young people are collected and relayed to their fellows

Our goal is to offer young people an opportune moment to showcase and derive the motivation to uplift their inner felt creative ideas, thoughts and abilities into career skills or properties through advocacy tailored approaches.We believe this program will boost their self-confidence, creativity, Communication skills, self-belief, positive thinking and broaden their career spectrum as well as act as an avenue of advocating against teenage pregnancies through youths voices

One of the school outreaches was in Mutoto Primary School in Industrial City Division Mbale City where we managed to offer guidance and counseling to the primary 6 and 7 who were about 60 in total and we also had a lively dialogue moments with some of the pupils, some young mothers and administrators advanced a number of what they believe are the causes of teenage pregnancies, dangers and possible solutions towards teenage pregnancies among the causes they advanced was poverty, claiming that many young girls are lured into sexual acts due lack of school up keep yet the boys who ask them for sexual intercourse provide them with some small money, the Deputy Head teacher added on saying that some parents have no time to seat down their children have talks related to relationships and sex education.

young people collectively raised their voices and encouraged their fellow young people to stay in school and abstain from sexual related issues until they are done graduating and also encouraged parents to offer their children with basic needs and create time for children and offer them guidance and counseling, the head teacher added by advising parents not to only leave the burden of guiding their children to the teachers but also take on the same burden.

Mr. Habaasa the Programs Officer at Elite added and advised the pupils to always be keen with the friends they associate with since many pupils submitted that sometimes their fellows end up getting pregnant due to bad peer groups that lured them into night discos, sex relationships and connecting them to boda boda men.

pupils of Mutoto Primary School pledged full support in the struggle to fight teenage pregnancies by talking to their fellow young people and also recruit more fellows to join them in advocating for a peaceful society, they also promised to keep in school till they are done with school and act as an example to the rest of the young people in Mutoto Community.

The Deputy Head teacher also brought to our attention that the area had a high number of teenage mothers and and asked if we can extend the young mothers forum closer so as we can offer them basic knowledge on child care and also provide psycho social support and bring back hope to them.

During an interaction with one of the young mothers in the Mutoto community, she advanced a point that some parents force and give out their young girls in to marriage in exchange of bride price she affiliated such act on to poverty being the main cause.

As we amplify young people’s voices we also call upon the government and different stakeholders to initiate economic empowerment programs and also influence employers to take up the unemployed Ugandans for both skilled and unskilled labour so as to curb some bad practices that are instigated by unemployment and poverty.

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