Training on Adolescent Sexual Health
The training has been so nice, so interesting, the facilitators were very lively, everything was so participatory, and the myths have been disqualified and facts have gotten to the mindAranit Stella, Senior Woman Teacher
A key component of our Develop with Dignity program is working with the community to bring Sexual Reproductive Health Education, including Menstrual Health, into the classroom.
What has challenged me more is, girls especially have been intimidated, whereby they are exposed, they conceive without knowledge, they conceive because they are not taught.Robinah Etiang, Project Leader Seeds of Hope
The Teso region of Uganda, has consistently recorded the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in Uganda, and in one of our recent studies in the area, 73% of primary schools recorded teenage pregnancies within their enrolment in 2021.
Why we need Sex Ed.
Comprehensive Sexual Reproductive Health education is often overlooked or dismissed – with the belief that young people will learn what they need to from home, or from friends.
However, research shows that Ugandan parents frequently outsource this vital educational role to extended family members who often repeat culturally held beliefs and traditional stories rather than provide evidence-based, accurate information.
The training was very, very OK, because this was my first time to attend such a training and it has actually impacted my life. Because you know I’ve been fearing to talk some of those things, menstruation, what, and so forth. In our culture we fear to talk about such things. It is something that has been held as secret.Solstene, Senior Man Teacher
Our model of training has been developed over several years as one strand of our holistic approach to ending period poverty and removing barriers to education.
I have learnt many things, one of them is how I can help the children, especially as it has been in our region, we have been avoiding to talk to these children about certain areas. I am very sure the children will now enjoy the way we are going to be presenting, because now we have knowledge, we are not guessing again.Ekurau John Michael, Senior Man Teacher
An essential part of the program is challenging those harmful normal beliefs and practices that often restrict girls and women participating within society.
When you look at menstruation, there are beliefs we have been having that girls should not go to church, girls should not cross gardens [fields] when they are menstruating because they will actually bewitch the garden…
And also in Teso, when you leave very early in the morning and you meet with someone who has, who is in that period of menstruation, they say you are unlucky, what you going to do in front may not be successful.
Those are some of the myths that have actually been washed out of my mind by Teams4U Uganda.Solstene, Senior Man Teacher
The issue of contraception
Studies and observations in the district have recorded 63% of adults believed contraception was harmful and 30% of them believed contraception caused cancer.
Family planning is where there are beliefs that somehow this training clashes with. My culture believes that family planning causes cancer, family planning causes infertility… but I have got to realise that this training has given me the best information, because family planning doesn’t cause cancer, neither does it cause infertility, but instead it helps an individual to raise a manageable family.Achen Sylvia, Project Leader Atutur Child Development Centre
Our training program has had many positive results and has extended to other community-based organisations and NGOs, alongside engaging with local leaders, the religious community, and local government.
The training I’ve gotten from Teams4U, for the last three days, has been the best. I have been teaching about reproductive health, but there were so many things I didn’t know. Now I have been given even better knowledge.
For example, I have thought that contraceptives caused infertility, and that girls should not cross the garden, or walk though a crop of g-nuts, whilst on their menstruation, but these things have been clarified today. I am excited to go back into my community, and our outreaches in villages and schools, with the best knowledge.Apio Rebecca, Girls’ Support Centre, Soroti
We hope our program can be utilised widely and support many more educators to adopt comprehensive sexual reproductive health education into their standard practice.