Many factors including barbaric culture, lack of school fees, early marriages and pregnancies hinder young girls from achieving their educational goals and dreams in the rural parts of Western Kenya.
While some of these girls are lucky enough to go back to school, others continue to increase the statistics of early marriages among young adults in Kenya.
A survey by the Forum for African Women Educationalists – Kenya Chapter (FAWEK) reveals that adolescents and youth lack relevant accurate information on sex, sexuality and reproductive health thus many get into unhealthy relationships with zero knowledge on what goes around them.
Therefore FAWEK in partnership with David and Lucille Packard Foundation started the Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (ASRHR) program in Western Kenya, an area with the highest number of school drop outs.
According to Catherine Naverian, FAWEK programs officer in Kenya, the main aim of ASRHR program is to provide age appropriate information and services for the adolescents girls so that their rights on healthy sexuality and reproduction are fully addressed.
“The ASRHR program uses advocacy and education to pass across the intended message through the Tuseme club, tuseme is a Kiswahili word which means let’s speak out. So the young adults are trained and educated on various issues regarding their reproductive health, then they train their fellow peers through theater arts and dram” explained Catherine.
“Apart from educating the youth on their sexual reproductive health, FAWEK makes sure that the girls stay in school throughout the term by providing them with sanitary towels, so they don’t have to stay at home during their menses. It is heartbreaking to learn that girls miss 4-5 days in a month totaling to 6 weeks in a year due to absence of clean and affordable sanitary towels” she added