Ideally, children will get all of the information they need at home from their parents, but school should also be an important source of information.
Here is why:
Every time we had a sex talk back in high school, the coordinator would have a box where we would drop pieces of papers anonymously with questions to be answered at the end of the forum. Most of the questions that were asked are:
I know you might be thinking, these are just basic straight forward questions. Now that I am all grown up, I think these questions were real concerns for us because we had never been taught about sex.
The only basic thing was, “Do not have sex until you are married!” and “If you have sex you will get pregnant and your parents will be pissed!”
Lack of sex education- both by parents and in schools- is a major crisis that has major ripple effects through many parts of society.
Lack of sex education in schools has been identified as a major contributory factor to the high rate of teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortion in the country.
Believe it or not, every girl or boy ill one day has to make a life-changing decision about their sexual and reproductive health.
So imagine the gap that exists in the lack of knowledge that these young people require to make these kinds of decisions responsibly. This is why most of our young people are vulnerable to early pregnancies, coercion, and STI’s.
This is what we recommend. A Comprehensive Sexuality Education.
Comprehensive sexuality education is based on an approach that focusses on gender and rights.
Whether in school or at home, this kind of sex education is taught throughout the adolescent life, to every age group depending on information relevant to their ages.
There are various things you can cover.
First are facts about human anatomy, reproductive health, and human development. You can go deeper on topics like contraception, consent, sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and childbirth.
Apart from pumping the youth with information, it is good to nurture positive values regarding their sexual and reproductive health. Such values are based on relationships, culture, gender roles, sexual abuse, and human rights. It is what I refer to as holistic sexuality education.
With these kind of knowledge, our young people will develop skills like critical thinking, communication, responsible decision making, and self-esteem.
Talking to children about sex is not an easy task.
If you are keen on the news an social media, there have been so many cases of early pregnancies, sexual assault cases, kidnappings, deaths, and sexually transmitted diseases.
This means that the one talk you gave your children about the birds and the bees is not enough. You should have an ongoing talk frequently according to the age they are in.
Ideally, children will get all of the information they need at home from their parents, but school should also be an important source of information.
Here is why:
There has been a huge debate in the past about providing condoms in school and teaching contraception to teenagers.
It has been said that giving these options will make them promiscuous.
To be honest, teaching comprehensive sex education doesn’t have the downside most people are afraid of.
Providing these options does not encourage adolescents to start having sex earlier, it only helps them be safe in case they choose to have sex.
In this generation, they are already having sex at a very early age so it is good that they have safe sex.
There have been so many efforts to curb teenage pregnancies but you have seen how the numbers have risen recently especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Poverty is one of the primary causes of teenage pregnancies but so is a lack of sex education.
Immediately your child starts becoming eager and curious about their body, you should start educating them right there and continue throughout each stage of their lives.
Abstaining from sex before marriage is a tradition that the current generation does not hold in high regard.
As a parent, you have to accept this hard truth and talk to your children about protecting themselves, making informed decisions, and keeping healthier sexualities.
If you feel like “No! my child will abstain from sex”, which is admirable, you are still not exempted from teaching them about sex.
They too need sex education. If a child grows being well informed, he or she will be empowered by that information and will respect people’s opinions and sexualities.
Furthermore, your child will not source information from their peers or the internet. We all know these sources are not reliable because of misinformation.
Do you know why you hear teenagers having oral sex and anal sex instead of vaginal sex?
It is because they do not have accurate information about alternative sexual behaviors.
Young people think that oral sex is incompatible with abstinence because abstinence involves vaginal intercourse so they believe.
With a comprehensive sex education approach, teenagers will be more informed about participating in alternative sexual behaviors instead of falsely assuming these alternatives are safe.
If we do not teach sex education, we will have generations that are completely unequipped to advocate for their bodily autonomy and are extremely ashamed about any sexuality that they’ve experienced.
We will fail generations of women when we set them up to be hurt, and we failed those generations of men when we fed them toxic masculinity instead of teaching them about consent and pleasure for all bodies.
If we’re to move forward, we need to find a way to build systems that educate and protect. What Do you think?
Across the world, due to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), children are affected by physical distancing, quarantines and nationwide school closures.
I am sure most of your children and youth may be feeling more isolated, anxious, bored and uncertain.
They may feel fear, and grief, over the impact of the virus on their families.
I have really been working hard to find content that will help open the world of isolation.
Watch out for resources and ideas to support parents and projects that will engage children in understanding the coronavirus, the challenges it brings to their world and what can be done to protect them.
I have also done a previous blog about how you can spark a meaningful conversation about coronavirus with your children.
To help parents interact constructively with their children during this time of confinement, I have shared below very simple but constructive tips you can use while parenting during this period.
I have these six one-page tips that I outsourced from WHO for parents.
They cover the following:
I hope this information helps in one way or another in helping your little ones cope during this confusing period. Feel free to click on the Links on the Infographics to learn more.
Have an amazing weekend!!
INCASE YOU MISSED IT:
Families all over the world have to adopt new changes and routines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Children can no longer go to school, Parents cannot go to work, all businesses are closed, and public gatherings have all been restricted.
Parents and caregivers are therefore forced to help their families adjust to the new normal.
I am sure as a parent you are struggling to keep your children occupied and safe during this trying period.
I understand, keeping children busy and helping them keep up with school work is not easy.
However, you should remember that our children look up to us especially on how we react to stressful situations.
I am sure our kids are confused about why they are not in school and why they are not allowed to go outside and play with their friends.
Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be.
Here is some advice on how you can start the conversation about coronavirus.
Your child has already heard about the virus or has seen people wearing facemasks and the constant washing of hands and sanitizing.
Do not be afraid to talk to them about it because keeping them in the dark will actually make them worry more. Summarize the most important facts that they should know.
This will be so reassuring and at least they are more likely to understand better when it comes from you as opposed to hearing it from the news and friends.
Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming.
Instead, try to answer your child’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly. It’s okay if you can’t answer everything; being available to your child is what matters.
Invite your child to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus, and how they feel.
Give them ample opportunity to ask questions. You want to be prepared to answer (but not prompt) questions.
Your goal is to avoid encouraging frightening fantasies.
When you’re feeling most anxious or panicked, that isn’t the time to talk to your kids about what’s happening with the coronavirus.
If you notice that you are feeling anxious, take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.
Children are very egocentric, so hearing about the coronavirus on the news may be enough to make them seriously worry that they’ll catch it.
It’s helpful to reassure your child about how rare the coronavirus actually is (the flu is much more common) and that kids actually seem to have milder symptoms.
An important way to reassure kids is to emphasize the safety precautions that you are taking.
Kids feel empowered when they know what to do to keep themselves safe.
For example, you can tell them that the coronavirus is transmitted mostly by coughing and touching surfaces and that they should thoroughly wash their hands as the primary means of staying healthy.
So remind kids that they are taking care of themselves by washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of two “Happy Birthday” songs) when they come in from outside before they eat, and after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the bathroom.
If kids ask about face masks, explain that the experts say they aren’t necessary for most people.
If kids see people wearing face masks, explain that those people are being extra cautious.
Children probably don’t fully understand why parents/guardians aren’t allowing them to be with friends.
Tell your child that your family is following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which include social distancing.
Social distancing means staying away from others until the risk of contracting COVID-19 is under control. Showing older children the “flatten the curve” charts will help them grasp the significance of social distancing.
Explain that while we don’t know how long it will take to “flatten the curve” to reduce the number of those infected, we do know that this is a critical time—we must follow the guidelines of health experts to do our part.
Nobody likes uncertainty, so staying rooted in routines and predictability is going to be helpful right now.
This is particularly important if your child’s school or daycare shuts down.
Make sure you are taking care of the basics just like you would during a school break.
Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.
Having a Conversation is very important.
However, you can use this opportunity to teach your children life skills they don’t learn in school.
The following are skills you can teach your children during this self-isolation period.
A crisis like a coronavirus can evoke feelings of anxiety and fear.
Parents can turn this around and model a sense of hope and positivity.
Teaching children emotional resilience can help them learn the areas of life they can control in uncertain times.
We can teach them resilience by how we control our attitude, how we are kind to others, how we control consumption and spending too.
Showing children that they are privileged and should be very grateful for what they have is important too.
Parents could view this time to provide children with the “ultimate training ground,” giving them an early start to learning life skills for when they no longer live at home.
Restrictions are now in place around the world, limiting how often people can leave the house to visit shops, for example, as part of efforts to reduce outside human contact and curb the further spread of COVID-19.
Signs have also appeared in many shops, rationing the number of certain products people can buy at one time, to combat the panic stockpiling that has taken place amid increasing fears about the pandemic.
At home, however, this offers the opportunity to teach children about rationing, cooking, and budgeting for food.
Fun activities like playing games, sewing, knitting, and gardening, like some other skills that can help children to become more self-sufficient.
Parents can take this opportunity to teach children about money. Budgeting and saving can teach children how money can grow over time. Do not underestimate the ability of children to understand and engage with finances.
Since we are spending a lot of time cooped up inside, this is a good time to teach children about online safety.
They will be online a lot trying to keep themselves occupied and so it is good that we start teaching them how to navigate the digital world safely.
You could also teach children how to use their digital skills more altruistically, to connect with the wider community during self-isolation, or even entrepreneurially.
I hope these tips will help you remain sane during this global pandemic. While we all ride out the corona storm, wherever you are located, the Protect A Girls’ Image team wishes you, and your families good health. Remember, we’re in this together, and we’ll come out of this together! Lots of Love!!
Juliet Wanja, Doreen Karimi and Christine Wanjiru are all 15 year old girls who are not sure if they will join High School in 2020 due to lack of school fees. This is a reality for thousands of children in Kenya right now. Currently, the Kenyan primary education is free but still regular school attendance is a challenge mainly due to low family incomes.
For instance, over 1.2 million children of school-going age are out of school and involved in practices such as child labor to supplement family income. There is also a 27% primary school dropout rate related to poverty issues. Imagine having these challenges in primary education. We find that fewer children are enrolled in secondary school, with only about a 40% enrollment rate.
Ending poverty in all of its form everywhere is crucial to achieving sustainable development in the world. We encourage various stakeholders to invest in education of our Beneficiaries because there is a lot to be gained in terms of poverty alleviation since poverty is a challenge to education.
It’s a bit ironic that we are fighting for our children to go to school while at the same time, our poor quality education is another one of the causes of poverty in Kenya. A high number of children are cramped together in classrooms, there are minimal teaching materials and each class has a single teacher.
With a poor teacher to student ratio, children who learn differently end up getting left behind because the teacher does not have a chance to serve each child individually. Those children who are left behind remain enrolled in school until they can catch up, adding to the amount of resources needed, since there is not an even ratio of new students to graduated students.
However, Protect a Girls’ Image Organization believes that education has a direct correlation with income. The higher the level of education, the less likely the person is to fall below poverty line.
Educating girls in particular makes them more likely to take control of decisions relating to fertility, family welfare, health. This means that education is not just a need but a tool to alleviate poverty.
With Donations from well wishers like you in place this shouldn’t be a problem. It seems simple enough – at least on the face of it. Every child in our care between the ages of six and 17 has the right to compulsory education and this cannot happen without your kind donations.
Have you seen our latest Fundraising Campaign for School Fees for our 40 children in our care? Click Here>>> https://t.co/rFenbUMW4w
Education is a basic human right for all and is important for everyone to make the most of their lives. Other human rights include the right to freedom from slavery or torture and to a fair trial.
Having an education helps people to access all of their other human rights. Education improves an individual’s chances in life and helps to tackle poverty.
Education reduces poverty, decreases social inequalities, empowers children and helps each individual reach their full potential.
It also brings significant economic returns for a country and helps societies to achieve lasting peace and sustainable development. Education is key to achieving all other human rights.
Education that targets poor populations like where our children live will bring change to many of the systemic factors that have contributed to the delay in poor communities’ development. Education can prevent the transmission of poverty between generations. Education also has documented effect on health, nutrition, economic development and on environmental protection (UNESCO 2104: Sustainable development begins with education).
Our goal in 2020 is to make sure all our children are enrolled in school with all the supplies which include ( school fees, a school bag, books, and writing materials)
Despite great progress we have made this year, 12 out of our 40 children are still not enrolled in school.
Would you like to help one of these children to be enrolled in school? We will be so grateful if you Give trough this link>>>>>> https://t.co/rFenbUMW4w
Education reduces poverty, boosts economic growth and increases income. It increases a person’s chances of having a healthy life, reduces maternal deaths, and combats diseases such as HIV and AIDS. Education can promote gender equality, reduce child marriage, and promote peace. In sum, education is one of the most important investments a country can make in its people and its future.
Formally adopted at the UN General Assembly in September 2015, the Global Goals for Sustainable Development frame the global development agenda for 2016-2030. The Global Goal 4 on education aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
In times of conflict and crisis, children are forced out of school, which contributes to higher drop-out rates and lower completion rates. Having a strong focus on education in these countries is critical, since education promotes stability, good governance, and peace. It can also provide a visible sign of a return to normalcy for children.
Great progress has been achieved in enrolling children in school around the world. But it’s not enough to get children in school, we also need to ensure that they learn to read, count, and acquire the necessary life skills. A special focus has to be given to the most vulnerable and marginalized groups (including children living in fragile and conflict affected areas, children with disabilities and girls) who are most likely to be affected because of a lack of well-trained teachers, inadequate learning materials, and unsuitable education infrastructure.
It costs on average US $1.25 a day per child in developing countries (low and lower-middle income) to provide a full cycle of pre-primary through secondary education (13 years). The largest share of this cost, 88%, is borne by the developing countries themselves. The international community should help in filling the funding gap of just 15 cents a day per child.
Educated girls and women tend to be healthier, have fewer children, earn more income and provide better health care for themselves and their future children. These benefits also are transmitted from generation to generation and across communities at large, making girls’ education one of the best investments a country can make.
In many countries, a combination of discrimination, social attitudes, poverty, lack of political will, and poor quality of human and material resources leave children with disabilities more vulnerable to being excluded from education. It is essential that societies adapt their education systems to ensure that these children can enjoy their basic human right without discrimination of any kind.
Investing in quality early childhood education brings the highest returns from individuals, societies and countries. Children who have access to quality early childhood programs do better in primary school and will have better education outcomes later. It is vital that low and lower middle-income countries invest more in affordable early childhood programs.