World Population Day 2016 Uganda was focused on the value of investing in adolescent girls – an issue that we have beenworking for many years in Uganda to promote, because we passionately believe that when we invest in girls and young women, we unleash their potential. And when girls can win, we all stand to win. This year, for our outreach in the communities in which we work in the country, we talked to communities about the value of investing in girls, and in particular to parents about the negative consequences of early and forced marriage for girls. Here’s a brief snapshot of this work for World Population Day 2016!
World Population Day 2016 Uganda – investing in girls in Isingiro Community
DSW Uganda mobilization team went to Isingiro district a head of World Population Day celebrations to moblise and sensitise community members about benefits of investing in a girl child.
The team worked strongly with Isingiro district authorities to moblise community members and to sensitize them about sexual reproductive health, modern family planning methods and services, life skills and benefits of ‘Investing in teenage girls.
The team used the Youth Truck to take information nearer to people in the hard to reach communities especially those situated in the mountains like Kikagati, Kaberebere, Ngarama, Kyeirumba villages, Nakivale Refugee Camp, Citizens High School, and Citizens Primary school towards addressing pertinent issues that affect teenage girls.
Among issues discussed were dangers of early and forced marriages, teenage pregnancy, malnutrition yet Isingiro is currently Uganda’s food basket hence there is need for more awareness creation on those issues which informed them that they should be the change agents to their peers.
District Health Officer, Mr. Kamulali appreciated DSW’s efforts of taking SRHR information nearer to the community members.
World Population Day 2016 Uganda – President Museveni warns parents against forcing teenage girls into early marriages
President Yoweri .K.Museveni has warned parents who force teenage girls into early marriages. “Seeing a girl in her first menstruation does not mean that she is ready for marriage, her body is still young, so don’t force her to get married but encourage her to study for a better future”.
He also appealed to parents to wait until the girl child is of legal age (18years old) before they can get her a husband.Early marriages are a very big challenge in Isingiro and it has serious effects like increased maternal deaths, infant deaths, malnutrition and poor family planning.
President Museveni said that he teaches his children about sex education using the bible and the book of Ecclesiastes. He advised stakeholders like DSW to harmonise sex education messages with religious leaders and come up with decent ways of teaching young people about sex.
Ms. Jackie Katana Beinomugisha, International Advocacy Officer, Faith To Action Network/DSW Uganda said that faith-based organisations are crucial contributors of health and other services and they reach a number of people through the vast structures that run from global, national to grassroots with health/sexual reproductive messages. Therefore it is important to work with them in order to reach our goal.