Youth take on sexual reproductive health

Meaningful advocacy is one of the tools to solve problems of sexual education and rights.

12 November 2018 | Health

Erongo Representative; 'I believe more conferences of this kind are going to help a lot of youth come up with ideals on how to change their communities and countries.'

Theopolina Shikongo, Coastal High School

AfriYan, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Namibia and Young Achievers hosted a youth conference aimed at educating the youth on sexual reproductive health and rights.

The theme of the conference was ‘Young people putting sexual reproductive health rights knowledge into practice’ with the objective of delivering the best sexual education to youth while understanding their problems. The conference also focused on a better Africa for tomorrow, universal rights for all youth and social and economic development drives in Africa.

A few learners from Coastal High School attended the conference with officials from the office of the mayor of Swakopmund, and the ministry of education arts and culture also present .

All 14 regions had a learners and out of school youth representing them.

The conference served the purpose of educating the youth on comprehensive sexual education (CSE) and to obtain their opinions on how to reduce teenage pregnancy and HIV & Aids in Namibia.

The president of AfriYan in Africa, Ms Lorence Kabasele, outlined the objectives of the organisation.

“AfriYan provides the correct knowledge of sexual practice to young people. The organisation also looks at African crises such as unemployment which limits sexual health and rural setting problems."

Topics that where discussed included how girls are affected by teenage pregnancy, infections of HIV and limitation or no knowledge of contraceptives.

This problems cause girls to drop out of school and they sometimes do not return again for a better education. This in return causes them to live in poverty. Those who find out they are infected with HIV mostly can’t provide for themselves properly in terms of a healthy life style.

Paulina Nashilundu, the mayor of Swakopmund, spoke on how the youth have an upper hand on solving problems faced by Namibia and Africa as a whole.

Such problems are inequality, gender base violence, schools dropouts, social violence, child marriages and domestic violence.

“We can curb these problems by providing social development,” said Nashilundo who called for the youth to seriously put in practice the sexual education that was provided and to stand firm for social development in Namibia.

Activities where prepared in such a way that the youth could express their opinions freely.

Participants were divided in groups addressed by different coordinators on different aspects within the health departments. They had discussions on shaping the future of sexual and reproductive health and rights through young people, breaking social and cultural barriers in sexual reproductive health and taking care of health and the future.

The participating youth subsequently established that lack of information, knowledge and social influence are the biggest reasons for the lack of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Representatives of the regions also explained and gave solutions for the sexual problems affecting their regions. The Erongo group mostly focused on raising awareness as that is the most influential way to reach out to a huge number of people at the same time.

The conference hosts taught the youth that they hold the keys to a better tomorrow. They expressed the hope that the youth understand how important it is for them to know about comprehensive sexual education and how they can be influential in educating their peers who did not attend the conference.

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