World Contraception Day 2014This Friday – September 26th – DSW along with the rest of the international community will celebrate World Contraception Day 2014. This annual worldwide campaign centers around a vision for a world where every pregnancy is wanted. DSW is a proud partner for World Contraception Day 2014, and this year we are paying particular attention to our hugely successful project GeNext Uganda: “My Life, My Future!”

Each day this week as we head towards World Contraception Day 2014 on Friday, we celebrate a story from one of our youth champions! Today is the turn of Stephen.

Stephen - World Contraception Day 2014My name is Stephen Keith Etyanga, I am a senior 4 student at Kayoro Senior Secondary School and I am a GeNext Youth Champion. I am a member of Buteba Progressive Youth Association (BUPYA), a Youth Empowerment Centre in Busia District. Busia district is my home, it boarders Uganda and Kenya in the East and its location makes it urban. This also explains the high population it has especially at the boarder points where business and commerce are prominent.

“I am confident in my conviction that I and other youth can change our community and that the young people can change their attitudes and live better lives.”

In my sub county Buteba, communities have large families although it is clear that the basic necessities needed by the same families are not adequately provided. Average families house up to 13 children and many of these including my fellow peers do not have enough food to eat. The community where I live has fewer schools and despite the fact that many children wish and choose to go to school, the education remains poor.

The close interactions I have had with my friends tell a lot about the moral deficiencies youth have. This is also evident within the community through the actions of the older community members. Through my peer sessions I have come to realize that many of my fellow youth have no close relationships with their parents and guardians and instead rely on friends and strangers for advice and their support and even love. This saddens me because I always thought that parents should love their children completely and have time for them.

However, my perspective on life for youth in Busia is different, since I believe that we as youth can support each other to change our community for the better. As a Youth Champion I have embarked on sharing the skills, knowledge and information that I acquired through the GeNext Uganda: “My Life, My Future!” project with my fellow peers. In my community and at school I encourage youth to look after their health especially to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STIs. We talk about practical life choices and healthier practice such as the proper and consistence use of condoms.

I am confident in my conviction that I and other youth can change our community and that the young people can change their attitudes and live better lives.

Stephen Keith Etyanga

I am a senior 4 student at Kayoro Senior Secondary School and I am a GeNext Youth Champion.