CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF ADOLESCENCE (CSA)

Nothing for us, without us

It is often said, educating a girl eradicates poverty in society. The SAFIRE program has taken the mandate of stepping into the community to reach out to almost every young girl through big sisters. Sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR) discussions at some point were taboo in the community. I, being one of the Big Sisters, got the opportunity to be engaging with young girls with information on SRHR. The one-on-one conversations have been encouraging me to keep on, as I can boldly attest to the immense transformation and the need for more knowledge not only from the ones I engage with but also from the community at large. 

Previously a young woman could not walk into a health facility for SRHR-related services like contraceptives for the fear of judgment, stigmatization, and even being questioned by health providers. The situation has now changed since one is guaranteed service without fear of judgment or any negative attitude towards them. This is a result of consistent and continuous training done to both big sisters and health providers 

Shelmith Mwangi, Big Sister Kiambu

It is an improvement that has shown that the information conveyed through these young minds doesn’t fall on deaf ears. Young is vibrant, and including us in program implementation has made it easier for me to disseminate correct and factual information in the community. A young mind will always have the curiosity to know more, share, and critique where necessary for the benefit of other young people. As I continuously hold sessions, the need for more information motivates me and makes it easy to reach and interact with more young girls in my community. 

On the other hand, the community has embraced the need for SRHR information, and services and has made it easy for me to work freely without fear of opposition and any harm. Maternal death rates have gone down compared to previous years and I would gladly say my work and efforts are not in vain, otherwise what would be more breathtaking than saving a life?

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