My desire to reach out to young people
A blog from Marion Kahindi. Marion is assistant health coordinator for the MTG peer education programme in the MTG league fields.
We live in times in which humanity sings to the tune of '' the digital world''. Many young people have modern digital gadgets that enable them to access information. This is not the same for girls in rural Kilifi. Only a few young women can afford the cheapest mobile phone that costs 21 USD. As 2015 started with the hope of building and rebuilding our societies, my interest to reach out to more young people and advocate on issues of reproductive health started to blossom.
One day, when I sat among young people in my church. I realized that some of the seeds of hope will never germinate because young people lack information. Nobody is facilitating sessions about reproductive health to young people in church. At the end of the sermon I was sure that there was a need for reproductive health sessions because I saw that a number of 16 year olds had children.
I'm interested in talking to young people about sexual reproductive health. I joined Moving the Goalposts in 2010 as a player. I was trained as a peer educator and started working as assistant health coordinator in 2012. MTG's reproductive health program is a program that gives information to girls football players on topics such as adolescence, menstruation, understanding sexuality, STI'S, HIV, stress management, rape etc. The program runs since 2004. Sessions are conducted at the league fields and in schools.
It's not usual that a church is a place where information about reproductive health is passed on. Some pastors and church members don't like the information that is been given out during the sessions or that the names of sexual organs are mentioned in the church compound. They think it should not happen in churches. But then, where do young people get the information? So what could I tell the pastor to convince him to allow the sessions to be conducted in the church? I started talking to the pastor about what I do at work and how this can contribute to the spiritual health of the congregation, in particularly to the youth. I told him that our church could be a good example for other churches in embracing reproductive health sessions for young people. It was also an opportunity for me to reach out to girls who are not playing football.
Now I conduct the sessions to the youth in my church. I have reached out to 47 boys and girls. I hope I will fulfill my desire of reaching out to more young people on issues of reproductive health.