Sexuality Education in schools in Kenya

Holistic Action Project for Young Adolescents (HAPA)

In Kenya, over 37 per cent of the population is under the age of 15. The older ones among them are going through a significant transitional phase: puberty. Their bodies change, menstruation begins, questions about sexuality arise, and many have their first sexual experiences – often not by choice, as sexual abuse is widespread. Their needs are often not recognised by those around them. Unwanted pregnancies and high HIV infection rates are the result. With our project, we reached ten to fourteen-year-old students in primary schools with age-appropriate information on sexuality and contraception, and strengthened their rights.

Having control over your own body and having the abilitiy to decide for yourself whether, when, with whom and how many children you want to have later sets the course for self-determined future planning. We supported 7,000 ten to 14-year-old girls and boys in the coastal region of Kilifi and in the rural region of West Pokot in Kenya in acquiring knowledge and accessing appropriate health services, enabling them to take the first step towards a self-determined future. The transfer of knowledge took place primarily in school clubs, where trained young people passed on their knowledge to their peers. To enable the adolescents to realise their potential, we involved the local community as well as the schools. Among other things, children’s rights and the prosecution of offences against children and young people were strengthened through cooperation with law enforcement agencies.

Miriam Riechers

Key activities

Creation of 14 clubs in primary schools, each with a membership of around 25 people

Training for primary school pupils (aged ten to 14) to become peer educators

Training of teaching staff and parents

Age-appropriate knowledge transfer to thousands of pupils by peer educators, club members, teachers and youth mentors through group meetings, girls’ forums and various school activities

Dialogue with community members, health workers and decision-makers to inform them about adolescents’ rights and raise awareness of their concerns

Cooperation with law enforcement authorities to strengthen children’s rights and prosecute perpretrators

Establishment of exchange forums for young people to voice their concerns and wishes to the political authorities.

Empowering young adolescents to participate in political decision-making processes

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Efficient, as administrative costs are low

Plannable support for young people