Give Girls Some Light.

Many times some girls are forced to abandon school because they can’t stand the humiliation that comes with menstruation especially if they are unable to afford sanitary pads to manage their menstruation periods.

These girls could be orphans and have no one to run to in such moments. As a result we are having many uneducated girls and yet its possible to support them if we only put our heart to it. Many of us are who we are today because someone held our hand and supported us while growing up.

At Raising Teenagers Uganda we are working to keep girls in school by supporting the less advantaged ones with sanitary pads and underwear so that they can attend school with dignity and pride. We help to build their self esteem and encourage them to report any form of abuse inflicted on them.

We always receive the sanitary pads from kind hearted individuals and institutions in the last 2years, we have been able to support over 3000 girls. Its amazing to see them in school and ready to complete their education.


These are our future mothers, doctors, lawyers, engineers to mention but afew. If we don’t support to achieve their potential, we shall miss out a lot in one way or another. 

Are you better positioned and are able to support such girls, please do and give them some light.

They Hiked Mt.Muhavura to Break Stigma Around Menstruation.


When it was anounced that there will be a hiking event on Muhavura ranges with the intention to create awareness about the challenges vulnerable girls go through once they begin menstruation, we never knew that it would turn out to be as memorable as it is now.

40 people came on board to hike for the Girl child and out of these, 15 made it to the peak of the mountain. This was a record breaker. No such big number had ever got to the peak on the same day. This explains how determined people are ready to break the menstruation stigma and support vulnerable girls to attend school everyday of the term.

 The Hikers did it with determination and love despite the many challenges that were met along the way. None of the challenges compares to the pain that vulnerable girls go through due to lack of sanitary pads.
Today many girls are missing school some days every month while other are dropping out of school due to menstruation matters. We are saying that this can not continue. Each one of us can do something small to support a girl in need of support especially if its to do with provision of sanitary pads.

The Hikers had experiences to share with the world and each hiker almost had a different experience. But the common experience amongst them all was the fact that at the end of the day,  it was worth it. And its nothing compared to what vulnerable girls go through.

Peace Namayanja is one of the Hikers that made it to the peak of the mountain and even though her hiking shoes let her down along the way, she never gave up. She still made it to the peak 4317 meters above see level.

I personally wish to appreciate everyone that joined us for this hiking event. Your participation means alot to us.

The organisations that came along: Joy for Children Uganda, NOPE Uganda, Kegra, European Union in Uganda, Raising Teenagers Uganda, The Lawyers that came along, the individuals that made contributions, we celebrate you.

We look forward to having you around in our upcoming events.

GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING SERVICES ~ VERY NECESSARY IN SCHOOLS TODAY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE

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There are many different reasons why  Guidance and counseling services are very important in both Primary and Secondary schools as well as Some Institutions of high Learning. This helps to promote positive change in the lives of many students as well as their parents. Would you love to know the school where your child goes requires the services of a professional counselor!!

1. INCREASED ENROLLMENT IN SCHOOLS
Learners in educational institutions- Originally classes were estimated at less than 50 students per class; but now they accommodate thrice or four times the number. Due to the increased number of learners the social, psychological, physiological and personal problems that face these learners are more than double.
It is essential that proper guidance be made available in schools to make it possible for students’ problems to be identified and effectively dealt with.

2. CHANGING SOCIAL PATTERNS:
A lot of changes have taken place and many more will continue to take place in our cultural and social patters of life. This is as a result of the intrusion of other cultures and social habits, and the developments in modern science and technology. Such changes bring in new ways of life and values.
For instance:
• Ways of dressing have changed.
• Relationships between children and parents have changed.
• Ways of worship have changed from traditional to foreign worship.
• There is Increase in unemployment and under employment leading to;
1. Depression
2. Alcoholism and drug – abuse
3. Crime and violence
4. Individualistic as opposed to communal way of life.
5. Cultural and traditional practices tend to hinder girls from pursuing certain educational programs
Girls and boys face major challenges in:
• Dealing with changes in adolescence.
• Peer Influence
• Making educational decisions.
• Handling the conflicting cultural messages and values.
• Managing their sexuality in a social environment that encourages delay in adult hood.
• Coping with changes in family structures.
• Understanding and coping with issues of HIV/AIDS e.g.
1. Single parent families
2. Adolescent headed families
3. Breakdown of the extended family
4. Existence of orphans

All these and others not mentioned here are challenges that affect the student’s life and performance in schools. They have to be assisted to face them objectively, with courage and appreciation through guidance and counseling services.

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Its Important for well placed people to go out of their way and reach out to girls in rural schools and encourage them to stay focused. This means a lot to such girls.

3. CHANGING CONDITIONS IN LABOR AND INDUSTRY:
Uganda is advancing in service and technology industry leading to the emergence of new demands on the part of employees and employers.
There is higher demand for more specialized forms of education and training. As such, there are many new study programs and subjects being included in the school curriculum. e.g. technical education, vocational subjects, and IT.
These are aimed at providing appropriate types of knowledge and skills to meet these new demands.
The programs and subjects being new, require that the students be properly guided on appropriate choice of subjects visa-a-vis their desired careers.
They should be made aware of the available industries and their job requirements such as the qualifications needed to join them.
They should therefore be given career information and this is best done through guidance and counseling services.

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4. LEISURE PROBLEMS
Due to advancement in technology, work that used to take long time to accomplish can now be done in much shorter time.

Therefore, young people have more free time at hand than before.If left on their own, many students or school children may not know the fruitful and more valuable ways of spending their free time. They may start engaging in undesirable activities like;
-Drug- abuse including alcohol,
-Pre-mature sexual intercourse and prostitution. Others may engage in unnecessary loitering which ultimately results in acts of indiscipline.
These activities can ruin their education and ultimately their future life.

It is therefore essential that guidance and counseling services be given on the more appropriate ways to spend free time. They should be guided on how to engage in productive activities; like playing games, participating in club, religious activities or helping the community around the schools and colleges.

let girls lead

5. GENERATION GAP – PARENT SENSITIZATION
This is a gap between the parents and children in terms of age and experience. Such a gap results in differences in interests, values tastes, beliefs, goals, and ways of life and methods of approach to problems.
It tends to create rifts between the two groups. For example the young people of today would like to discuss matters of sex with their parents but the parents especially those who grew up 30 years ago and beyond see this as a taboo.
Children of today will need shoes, watches, school bags etc. to go to school but there are parents who will argue that these things are not necessary.

They will argue that they went to schools without these items but they made it.
Hence, both the children and parents need some guidance in order to understand and appreciate these differences and live amicably.
The parents/guardians should be guided that the times are fast changing and they have to gradually change from the old ways.
Some students perform poorly in schools due to the conditions they live in back in their homes.
Also, the teachers should understand the biological, psychological, sociological problems that the stage usually brings and try to discuss with the young people and the parents/guardians; and try to find solutions to them through the methods of guidance and counseling.

 

Minimum Standards for Guidance and Counselling Programs in schools
• Records of Students who receive counseling services
• Community involvement in supporting Guidance and Counselling activities
• Introduction of clubs in schools
• Careers days/weeks conducted
• Friendly school environment
• Talking environment with appropriate Guidance and Counselling messages.
• Improved academic performance
• Good teacher-student relationship.
Parenting Workshops and other capacity building workshops for teaching and non- teaching staff is done on special arrangements.

Rights Photo.

That Girl. Our Girl.

There is that time when every girl child needs someone to talk too. That time when she goes to the bathroom and finds blood on her knicker for the very first time and has never heard about anything called menstruation. She could be 8years old, 9 or 10. Imagine how that feels especially if no one has ever told her about periods!!

Her mother, her aunt , her older sisters have not told her about that time when a girl begins puberty and the challenges that come with it.

Its the reason i wake up everyday thinking about that girl. Wishing that i had a way to speak to every girl about this matter so that they understand that its normal.

The reason i want to tell every boy in school not to humiliate any girl once They stain their dress.

The reason i want to tell every teacher to be very considerate as they deal with such issues in school. A very small comment can make a girl want to abandon school because this matter is very personal.

The reason i want to meet every parent and beg her or him to speak to their young girls about puberty and its challenges as well as how to accommodate those challenges. Many girls don’t know the relationship between menstruation and pregnancy. They need that information. How about you spare some time and share such important information with that girl.

Every girl has the capacity to excel in life only if they are given an opportunity. 

MENSTRUATION SHOULD NOT MEAN END OF EDUCATION.

GIRLS.

In 6 months  2,646 girls from different schools in various parts of the country have received sanitary pads and are now attending school everyday of the term without worrying about their menstruation matters. These girls can now compete favorably with their male counterparts.

In December 2016  Hope Nankunda- an educationist and adolescent counselor who has made it her life mission to support vulnerable girls to stay in school in order to reduce the rates of child marriage and teenage pregnancy launched a GoFundMe fundraising campaign with an intention to fund raise from the possible sources towards providing the vulnerable school going girls with sanitary towels, thereby keeping them in school regardless of menstrual experiences. Some girls in rural schools face a number of challenges related to menstruation and in most cases they are forced to misses school some days every month or even drop out of school due to lack of sanitary pads. Different people from different parts of the world joined the campaign and have supported the girls significantly and can now attend school every day of the term without worrying about menstruation.

Who contributed?

Lohana Community Kampala felt the need to support our Keeping Girls in School Project. The ladies donated 200 sanitary pads in kind after organizing and carrying out a cooking competition in order to raise money and support the vulnerable girls to stay in school. They also donated a Water Tank to school in Makerere Kivule slums- Grace Fellowship Primary school which is now serving an enrolment of over 300 students. Girls in this school would suffer more during their menstruation due to lack of water.

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Afripads Uganda supported the campaign by donating 2000 sanitary pads, 2000 underwear and 2000 Girl talk Booklets that have relevant information about menstruation which girls can use to learn more about the basic details on menstruation matters and how to manage different situations.

Rainbow International School Uganda organized a Teacher Talent show where the teaching and non teaching staff presented songs, dances, skits, Fashion shows, Creative shows, to the parents and students in order to raise money and contribute towards our – Keeping Girls in School Project. The show collected 3, 308,850 Ug shillings. That will provide sanitary pads to 225 vulnerable girls in rural schools.

 

The Mt.Muhavura Hiking Event

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This was organized in partnership with an intention of raising awareness about menstruation challenges that girls go through and to break the stigma around menstruation.

On 12th May 40 Hikers set off to Kisoro District in Western Uganda and on 13th May they hiked Mt. Muhavula Ranges. Out of the 40 Hikers, 15 went up to the peak of the mountain, 4137 meters above sea level and this was record breaking for the Uganda World Life Authority team as they informed us that it’s the first time a big team of hikers getting up to the peak on the same day. This explains how people were determined to do the impossible in order for the vulnerable girl to attend school with pride and dignity and be able to complete their education without having to feel humiliation and embarrassment because of menstruation.

We still call upon well wishers to support us so that we can support more girls out there that are missing an opportunity to attend school due to menstruation related matters.

Empower 1 GIRL and She Will Empower 20 GIRLS.1

How is the Future without Our Children!

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Imagine a world where every child is educated, empowered and able to contribute to the development process!!

Today, many Children have been exposed to exploitation and abuse. This is in form of child sacrifice, child trafficking, child labor, child marriage, child torture and most times this comes as a result of Domestic and gender based violence. Some parents have in one way or another contributed to these situations either knowingly or unknowingly.

What has happened to our society? Where has the love gone? Today some parents and relatives sexually abuse their own children. Others have even got their own daughters and nieces pregnant? Where are we heading? Why have we decided to make our own children suffer? Young girls are dying while giving birth, why? Because their bodies are not ready for child birth!! Did we really suffer the same way while we were growing up??? What future are we preparing for these children.

Through our programs of Guidance and counseling in schools, we get to hear what children go through in their homes and its really painful. Some children say they prefer to stay at school for the rest of their lives without going home due to the conditions at home. They wish they din’t have to go home for holidays!! They keep all the pain to themselves because they believe that no one will understand them. Some have resorted to drug abuse in order to forget their problems yet this is not a solution.

Why don’t we take it on as our responsibility to protect children! Whether we are related to them or not. Long ago a child belonged to a community, but today, its to whom it may concern!! For how long will this situation continue? Can we create an environment that allows every child to enjoy his or her childhood! An environment that will make boys and girls proud of who they are? Its never too late for change to be realized, we just need to be interested.

It is impossible to realize the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 if we don’t put children into consideration today because they are the future we are planning for. Its as simple as that. Protect Children and help them to meet the future that they rightfully deserve.

 

Education is the Greatest Investment

Imagine a world where every child is educated and can contribute to the development process!!

So many times parents in rural areas tend to give away their young girls for marriage in exchange for just a kilogram of sugar, a goat, a cow , some tea leaves and sometimes for salt. These young girls are then subjected to domestic violence, torture, early child birth and many times girls have died while giving birth because their bodies are never ready to experience child birth.

Many times the parents to these girls need to be empowered with information about the benefits of keeping their children in school until they complete their education. Once these girls have acquired the education, they can provide all the above mentioned items to their parents for the rest of their lives. All that parents need to to practice some bit of patience and sacrifice a little in order to enjoy the fruits of their children.

Its time to reach out to the parents in rural settings and sensitize them if we want a better future for girls. A future where they can participate in leadership positions. A future where they can make informed choices and start up families the the men of their choice.

The time is now. Lets teach the Parents because they need this knowledge.

We Can End Child Marriage:

In recent years child marriage has gained increasing prominence on international and national development agendas. Today, we have a unique opportunity to act on this momentum and accelerate our efforts to help change the lives of girls and young women all over the world.

Ending child marriage requires work across all sectors and at all levels. It requires us to understand the complex drivers behind the practice in different contexts and adapt our interventions accordingly.

Empower girls

Working directly with girls to give them the opportunity to build skills and knowledge, understand and exercise their rights and develop support networks, is an important part of our efforts to end child marriage.

Using an empowerment approach can lead to positive outcomes for girls and their families by supporting girls to become agents of change, helping them envisage what alternative roles could look like in their communities and ultimately helping them to forge their own pathway in life.

Safe space programs

Safe space programs which offer a varied curriculum covering life skills, health and financial literacy can provide girls with an opportunity to build their skills, learn and meet friends and mentors in an informal setting and learn about the services they can access in their community.

Safe space programs can successfully build girls’ self-confidence, agency and self-efficacy, which they need to thrive. They can provide a good alternative for girls who do not have access to formal education such as married girls. Having a safe regular meeting place allows girls to meet with peers and share experiences which can reduce their sense of isolation and vulnerability.

Some of these programs have economic empowerment components, such as conditional cash transfers, or the provision of a goat or chicken, which have proven successful in increasing the age of marriage.

Supporting young people to be agents of change

Supporting young people to be agents of change can be an effective and empowering process in and of itself. Many organizations work with young people so they can advocate for change as well as helping to inform the design of programs that directly benefit their peers.

Youth groups, encouraging dialogue between youth and community leaders, and building the capacity of young people are all ways of supporting young people to be champions of change in their own communities.IMG_6771

ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY.

HOPEFUL.

The most important thing to teach your child is responsibility. Discuss how to make decisions and understand what the consequences of those decisions will be.

You can start by discussing decisions and consequences that don’t involve sex, and then move the conversation toward sexuality. After all, there are consequences to having sex or not having sex, and every child is going to get a lot of misinformation along the way from their peers and the media. So before they get that information, Let them hear it from you their parents.

After all, however adult their appearance, behavior, and attitudes may appear, adolescents remain closer to childhood than adulthood and children need ongoing parental guidance to prepare for adulthood. I know it’s a lot of work, but parents need to monitor what their children see and be there available to them to provide some context.

Find out what’s in the movie, what’s in the program, what’s on that Internet site before you let your child see or hear. And experience with him or her together, so you can discuss it and use it to build trust between you and your child. Otherwise keep in mind that when you don’t give your child this information, There will be someone out there ready to offer the information however your child has to pay dearly.

LET YOUR CHILD BE A CHILD.

 

 

 

Talk the Talk Before They Walk the Walk

PHOTO 3 WOMEN NET

Adolescence can be tough enough to get through without questions of sex, sexuality, and sexual identity. But adolescents are humans too and no matter how different they may seem to their parents at times. Openly addressing the all-too-human questions of sexual development, sexual desire, and the nature of the adolescent’s developing sexual identity are critical. Sharing factual information with and giving good moral guidance to your teenager is a vitally important part of helping your teen understand herself or himself. It can help your child avoid devastating, and possibly life-threatening, errors in judgment.