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A day with adolescent girls

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I visited my birthplace sometime last September 2013 to spend sometime with adolescent girls. I knew so many of them do not have mentors. After the advocacy visit with the gatekeepers the girls were summoned to the village square where the meeting was held. It was an interesting interactive session that lasted for 3 hours in the evening because most of them were in school in the morning. It was actually in two (2) session - morning for unwed young (adolescent) & evening adolescents that are still in school. This write up is for evening session. The morning session will follow soon

It started with introduction of the organization I represent - Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative and our program drawn to assist young girls in their way to adulthood and the female gender in general. After the general introduction, our interaction centered around education, unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and basic skill empowerment for female children especially the basic education of primary & secondary education which bestows basic knowledge of reading & writing to them.

We took sometime to discuss their academic subjects and at end we saw that a lot of them have so many distractions that are bogging their lives and are making them lag behind in their studies even those of them that are bright are not having it easy. We talked about boys / girl relationship which brings about unintended pregnancies. Here also, we had a long talk on how to keep themselves free from getting pregnant and resorting to abortion in quack hospitals, patent medicine dealers shops or using herbs which also have their own challenges and problems.

Sexually transmitted Infections are part of challenges from having unprotected sex if you must indulge. We discussed different types of these infections and their after effects if not diagnosed early and treated properly. We took a look at domestic skills and different skills one could acquire after school to ensure that one has a daily earnings for their upkeep.

At the end of the session we learnt a lot and the most prevailing challenges they face in the rural / disadvantaged area is poverty and it forms the bulk of distraction for them. When they are in school, they are thinking of where the next meal will come from and thinking of going to farm as soon as school is over for the day. The other problems are attached to this prevailing one - hunger.

They asked that government should come to aid by at least providing good road network which will be an advantage by taking some of their farm produce to nearby towns for sale. They were happy and asked that I make out time to visit them more and I was also informed that my organization was the first NGO to visit them and they also asked that I make their plight known to all who care to hear. Will visit them again soon.

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