Archive | November, 2015

Hold On-Topapa

25 Nov

Ramla was extremely smart with a nice body and short hair. She was always punctual, always calm never a hair out place. She was the envy of the entire school, teachers adored her and the rest of the school envied her.

Ramla never lacked, her break and lunch were always paid for by her many admirers and the attention got to her head. She gave in and had sex with Deo the school head boy,together they were like romeo and Juliet.

Ramla got pregnant, by the time she sat for her PLE nothing showed but rumours spread and she looked pale and haggard from the constant vomiting. She told the teachers that she had malaria and they believed her. As P7 vac commenced, Ramla attempted an abortion using a metallic hanger but failed and instead damaged her bladder. Ramla couldn’t pick up her PLE certificate because of her baby bump and the stench that came from her constant leaking urine.

As Ramla got heavier, Deo took off and never looked back. She became withdrawn and depressed. She gave birth to Jamal, but she couldn’t join secondary school because of a condition later diagnosed as Fistula during a free medical camp in her village in Busega. Her parents looked after and her son and kept encouraging her to keep taking good care of herself despite the stench of her leaking urine. Ramla became an outcast; the stigma was unbearable. Whenever she travelled in a taxi people looked at her with their noses turned up in disgust. Ramla gave up all hope of a normal life and concentrated on raising her son, gardening and doing chores at home.

One fine day in the middle of August, Ramla’s parents were informed of free fistula treatment at Mulago Hospital conducted by the top surgeons in Uganda. They jumped at this golden chance and they took their daughter for surgery, and nursed her throughout the next 6 months until she recovered. After weaning Jamal at 2 years of age, Ramla studied catering at YMCA and later got a job as a waitress in a good hotel. Even after Deo abandoned her Ramla had her parents for comfort.

Young girls should not be flattered by boys and men who lure them with favours and gifts. Teenage pregnancy can ruin their lives and even lead to death. Deo continued with his education but Ramla’s life was ruined by pregnancy.

poster

Therefore young girls need to Hold On, Linda Ko, Topapa,  No need to rush.  There is time for everything. Ramla had it all but becuase she rushed, she lost it all.

This whole month a team of bloggers has been highlighting Teenage preganancy with the hashtag #EndTeeenagePreganancy #Twefugge

Lets be responsible, Twefugge.

Please get in touch.

Straight Talk Foundation Plot 4 Acacia Avenue, Kololo. P.O.Box 22366 Kampala-Uganda, Tel: 0312 262030/1,

email: info@straighttalkfoundation.org,

Website: http://www.straighttalkfoundation.org

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/STFUganda

Facebook: Straight-Talk-foundation

 

 

 

 

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Coitus Interruptus aka Withdrawal

18 Nov

Esta was only 20 when she and her boyfriend decided to stop using condoms, why eat sweets with the kaveera on!!! As the young wild juices enhanced their appetite to justify their love they opted to use the withdrawal method.

The withdrawal method of contraception, also known as coitus interruptus, is the practice of withdrawing the penis from the vagina and away from a woman’s external genitals before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy. The goal of the withdrawal method is to prevent sperm from entering the vagina.

Withdrawal-method

Esta knew the risks that came with the withdrawal method especially getting infections. She went for HIV testing with her then boyfriend now baby daddy and once all was well they went about their business.

28 out of 100 women who use the withdrawal method as a form of contraception get pregnant, unfortunately Esta was among the 28.

Esta was faced with a dilemma she wasn’t ready for, as a strong christian girl abortion wasn’t an option for her. When she shared the news with her boyfriend he was quick to deny responsibility knowing that he had pulled out in time.

withdrawal-method-1-728

Esta was then in S6 vacation, her dreams had hit hand brake immediately. How was she going to face her parents about the pregnancy, her boyfriend couldn’t afford taking care of her and the unborn child.

When she opened up to her parents about the pregnancy and she got as much as she deserved from them. Her boyfriend stuck around throughout the pregnancy but he later moved on,the idea of being a father at 20 never dawned on him.

Esta had learnt a very hard lesson about safe sex methods, her daughter is now 8 and single motherhood has its challenges. She managed to continue with school and is now a records clerk in Mulago as well as a youth counselor. She uses her experience to advise teenage girls about safe sex methods.

in 2008, only 33.8% girls and 22% boys aged between 12 and 14 have received sex education in school. 8 out of 10 girls at University fear getting pregnant more than contracting HIV/STD/Is.

At home, 71% girls and 64% boys had never talked with parents about sex-related matters, according to the 2004 National Survey of Adolescents. As a result, Uganda’s teenage pregnancy rate continues to be high, at 25%. A teenager that gives birth is not only likely to drop out of school but also have a big number of children.

In light of this, if we are to address this hitch, there is a need to have a comprehensive sexual education culturally, socially and in politically acceptable ways streamlined within existing institutions such as schools, homes and churches alike.

This will begin to change the rigid mindset among adolescent gate keepers including parents, teachers, the community and religious leaders who still think sexual and reproductive information is not age appropriate for adolescents.

We also need to begin instilling in adolescents right from childhood concepts of leadership, emotional intelligence and critical thinking.

This will go a long way in empowering them in decision making processes so that they make informed and responsible life choices such as delaying sex.

Irrefutably, adolescent stage marks a critical time of development in someone’s life. It is a period of dramatic physical, cognitive, hormonal and social changes that occur in our bodies, which ultimately translates into one’s identity and personality.

Targeting them at an early stage will consequently make teenagers delay sex and child bearing as well as live healthier and productive lives to their fullest potential.

Adolescent premarital pregnancies, childbearing and teenage mortality rate is a cornerstone obstacle and a community concern and for that reason remains a major social, health, financial and economic sabotage in Uganda, which all of us must vividly fight.

If you want to learn more about sex safe methods please get in touch

Straight Talk Foundation Plot 4 Acacia Avenue, Kololo. P.O.Box 22366 Kampala-Uganda, Tel: 0312 262030/1,

email: info@straighttalkfoundation.org,

Website: http://www.straighttalkfoundation.org

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/STFUganda

Facebook: Straight-Talk-foundation

 

 

 

 

Am Just A Gal Not Yet A Woman..#EndTeenagePregnancy

11 Nov

Jenny was just 16 when her father abandoned her and her young brother. Jenny was just a girl with dreams to touch the sky, take her mother and young bro out of their two roomed house to a better place. However, all odds were against Jenny’s father had lots of women and Jenny’s mother was just a number to him. He didn’t care about the well being of Jenny and her young brother, he had no idea which class she was in or even which school she went to, whether she had sanitary pads, he only came around home when he needed sexual satisfaction from her mother. Jenny never felt safe at home, she didn’t have any assurances about the future nothing was guaranteed, she wasn’t even sure of her next meal.

Jenny’s mum contracted HIV from her father because of his open zip policy and further plunged her life in misery, Jenny had to look after the family since her Dad decided to go AWOL. She had to take care of her sick mum plus her brother while she went to school, something had to give and Jenny ended up dropping out of school she was going to pay for sins she didn’t commit with her future.

Through this misery Jenny’s mother decided to go to Juba to try her luck  since Uganda had only left her with scars, she had to find a way to fend for her 2 children. This meant Jenny was left as the head of the household, having to deal with thieves in case they broke into their house and also find the right stories for the landlord.

In all this drama Jenny met Allan, Allan was also just starting out having left the village a young boy. He had found his footing owning a washing bay and boda bodas. Allan was doing well for himself, because Jenny had never known anything better for the 1st time in her life she felt safe. She didn’t need advise, she had become her own mother and father she didn’t think otherwise when he proposed love. Allan guaranteed her at least 3 meals a day and those landlord rants became history. She felt safe, in return Allan wanted children and a family, Jenny was going to be a wife at 16, she had to become a woman when she was just a girl.

At 17 Jenny became a mother, she had to quickly learn on the job, juggling changing diapers to cleaning the home and looking after her husband. She had settled for a life she hadn’t desired, her cousins same age as her were still in school and used to visit to tell her stories about school and love letters. She missed this life, she wanted to be in school too, she wanted to learn about Napoleon, she wanted to receive mail through yellow pages or atleast receive a success card.

Her daughter Malaika is now 2 years, but at 19 Jenny thinks of how life has been unkind to her. She speaks with so much pain in her words, she traded places with her parents especially her father who abandoned the family when she was only 15. Her mother even with her poor health is so far away in Juba trying to ike a survival for her children.

Jenny never got the chance to be a girl but was fast forwarded into being a woman, she missed out on alot of things a teenage gets to do. She has started to attract the attention of other men but she cant afford the flirting because Allan doesn’t like it. She has failed to find a job that can give her some pride because her education level is so low, her only option is to stay at home and watch Malaika grow up while she waits on Allan to provide for her and her young brother.

Tears stream down her cheeks as she sees girls her age walk past her as they rush for evening lectures at UCU, that could have easily been her. If only her dad had been Man enough to take care of his responsibility. If he had just given her the protection she so much she desired, if he had cared a little.

Many girls are in a situation that Jenny finds herself in, broken homes and absent parents. Fathers have run away from their responsibility and child headed households are very common. Children are forced to take up the roles of their parents and face life head on with no one to guide them. Girls are more vulnerable than boys for the consequences in their case damage them forever. Jenny she was stuck in a life she wasn’t happy to be in but when life gives you lemons you just have to make lemonade.

Jenny doesn’t dream of going back to school again because she will not feel like she fits in anymore but desires to make the most of what is left of her. She would want to join a vocational school, learn something that will help her make use of the free time she has. Allan is supportive in her idea of finding some kind of employment, he is willing to help her find a vocational school. He knows he is her father and husband now, therefore he needs to find a balance between the 2.

The Youth Enterprise Model (YEM) project supported by UNFPA/Packard Foundation and implemented by Straight Talk Foundation(STF) and Reproductive Health Uganda(RHU). The project aims at increasing access to sexual reproductive health information and services among young people in business in an innovative way. The YEM project targets young people through three points of access namely; the community (young people in business), the institution (financial institutions and Vocational Training Institutions[VTI]) and the Health facility (In the catchment of business enterprises and/or organized health programs.

Jenny has a story to tell and through her story a girl who is lost can find her way.

Throughout the month of November and December a team of bloggers will be sharing such stories, follow the hashtag #EndTeenagePregancy #Twefugge.

We want to hear from you, use the contacts below and get in touch.

Straight Talk Foundation Plot 4 Acacia Avenue, Kololo.

P.O.Box 22366 Kampala-Uganda,

Tel: 0312 262030/1,

email: info@straighttalkfoundation.org,

Website: http://www.straighttalkfoundation.org

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/STFUganda

Facebook: Straight-Talk-foundation

Angel, Still A Girl. #LetsTalkStraight #EndTeenagePregnancy

9 Nov

Source: Angel, Still A Girl. #LetsTalkStraight #EndTeenagePregnancy

My Best XI-Cricket Season

9 Nov

Tornado B were finally confirmed as league champions for the third year running and this was more less expected. There were no surprises given that they have maintained the same team for the last 4 years.
They have a model club in terms of organisation and administration. Small things most times are the difference between winning and losing. Tornado B are deserved champions, here is my best XI this season.

1.  Mukasa Roger (Tornado B)
Papa as he is popularly known has delivered for Tornado B as they needed him to. His 4 centuries at an average of 65. 44 and a strike rate of 131. 77% made a firm foundation for tornado B’s batting, he picked up 17 wkts with his part time spin and tops the fielding charts with 13 field dismissals.
He has been a dream all rounder for his Captain and he should be our season MVP.

2.  Thawitamwira Ivan (Challengers)
Ivan will be remembered for batting with the tail scoring a match winning 165* to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Charity. That inning made Ivan a cult hero of sorts and since then his numbers have been impressive. He followed that up with another matching winning 96* against Nile and in all accumulated 516 runs at an average of 64. 50 at a strike rate of 94. 6%. Ivan has scored very important runs for Challengers who were battling relegation but were able to finish high up the table. There are no shortcuts to success and Ivan puts a lot of time into his batting, am certain he is enjoying his rewards. He should comfortably take home Best Bat for the season.

3. Lawrence Ssematimba (Tornado B)
The small lion has been a silent operator.  He has wound back the years to offer Roger much needed support. As an accumulator he has scored 329 runs at an average of 41. 13 and a strike rate of 63. 88%. He has stepped up this season mixing aggression, flair and grit well.

4. Kayondo Hum (Wanderers)
There is always little to write about Div 2 players but Hum has stood out this campaign. He has finally managed to be a consistent performer and his runs have no doubt helped wanderers get back up. He managed to score 2 centuries with 4 half centuries collecting over 500 runs at an average of 52. 14. His staying might be the only reason they managed to get back up.

5. Frank Nsubuga (Tornado)
Tornado might not have finished as high up as they should have but Franco has been a consistent performer. His ban towards the end of the season put a halt to Tornado’s charge for the title. Franco scored 269 runs at an avg of 44. 8 picking up 18wkts with best figures of 5/6. He is my Captain for the season.

6. Mukaya Shama. (Charity)
Numbers don’t like and Sharma is miles ahead of the other keepers in the season. He had 20 field dismissals with 17 being catches. With the attacking brand of cricket that charity plays Sharma has helped them behind the stumps. A reliable keeper is like a solid goal keeper he can be the difference between winning and losing.

7. Karashani Davis (Tornado B)
Despite the fact that he is retired, Davis has combined well with Cyrus spinning Tornado to another title. Davis creates the pressure that Cyrus and Akbar exploit to pick up many wickets. His high standards have made sure he never gives away too much picking up 19 wkts at an econ of 3. 94 with best figures of 5/19.

8. Ssenyondo Henry(Challengers)
Endu has been a mean magician with his left arm spin. Henry has bowled 100. 4 overs picking up 26 scalps at an economy of 3. 12 with best bowling figures of 5/6.
He has done as well Thawi has with the bat.
He should take home the Best Bolwer of the season award.

9. Waiswa Charles (Tornado B)
Wai has always been lethal with a new ball In hand.
He has picked up 15 wkts with an econ of 4. 21 and best figures of 4/41. His ability to bowl at the start of the innings and the end makes him a captain’s dream bowler.

10.  Waiswa Kenneth (Nile)
For this young lad the sky is the limit,  Wai has bowled very well given that this is just his second season in the top flight.
He picked up 19 wkts at an economy of 4. 44 and best bowling figures of 5/33. Waiswa followed this up with a strong performance in Malaysia for the U19 team, also earning himself a national team call in the process. Am certain he will play for Uganda for a very long time.

11. Nasser Ahmed (Nile)
Nasser has had a strong all round performance for Nile Cricket Club scoring 321 runs at an avg of 22. 93 and picking up 16 wickets at an econ of 3. 09 and best figures of 4/18.
His performances enabled Nile finish as high as 2nd in the table.

Special Mentions:

1. Gabula John(KICC)
Gabula popularly known as stable base has had a wonderful season with the bat. His partnership at the top of the order with Lubega has bailed KICC out lots of times. His performance with the bat for the U19 team in Malaysia have enabled him get alot of confidence and he should score lots of runs next season.

2. Issanez Emmanuel
It was such a dream to see Issa run in an bowl superb lines.
Issa worked on his this year game season and his numbers were amazing he managed to pick 20 wkts with best figures of 4/34 and scoring 156 runs at an average of 22. If he keeps up this kind of form am sure he will be back playing for Uganda.

3. Kakande Ivan
Kakande is a hard worker and he has numbers to back him up. Ivan picked 21 wkts with his left arm spin and contributed a handy 146 runs at an avg of 24 and strike rate of 70%.

It will sad to see Charity going down because they have some exciting young players like Opio Ronald, Frank Akankwasa and Cosmos.

Tornado B were Div Champs while Wanderers won the Div 2 title.

Wicketkeeper Batsman.
Wanderers Cricket Club.

Sex And Growing Up. #LetsTalkStraight #EndTeenagePregnancy

3 Nov

Source: Sex And Growing Up. #LetsTalkStraight #EndTeenagePregnancy

Teenage Pregancy-The Silent Killer

2 Nov

Eve( not real name) had just joined campus she had full life ahead of her, at 19 her dreams were cut short by an act of selfishness of a family member. One night at a family house party Eve was savagely raped by her own cousin, she didn’t know how it happened because she didn’t feel anything. Her drink had been laced with something by this beast who took advantage of her. Its only after 2 months that Eve started to feel weird, her boobs suddenly felt a little bigger, she missed her period for the 2nd time, she decided to do a pregnancy test and her worst fears were realised.

Her own cousin was now her worst nightmare, he confessed before the family about the act but this could never give Eve her freedom and life. This moment changed the course of her life, She would always be judged by this thing/Child. Her mind raced with all kinds of thoughts, the family of the beast protected their own demon calling Eve a whore who forced her self on their child. If misery loves company then it found Eve, Eve’s mum who had felt her daughters pain passed away 4 months into her pregnancy.As a mother, Eve’s mum had stood by her daughter and promised to always protect her child from the abuse and scorn the world would give her.Eve wondered how this kind of life had chosen her

Eve thought about abortion everyday until she gave birth to Chris(not real name). She gave up fighting with her own thoughts, yes Harris was born out of incest, she was a victim of rape, she had dropped out of school, betrayed by her own family, lost her mum along the way but she hadn’t lost herself. Eve got back up with the support of her dad, Chris gave her a new lease of life he was innocent, he had done no wrong, every time she breast fed him she never thought about how he came into being.

Eve had lost time she had missed out on school, her classmates had already graduated by the time she was well enough to go back to school.

One in every 4 girls between 15 to 19 years is already a mother or pregnant with her 1st child according to a Unfpa report http://unfpauganda.org/endtp/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/fact-sheet-final.pdf.

Eve just happens to me a statistic in this case. Teenage pregnancy put Eve at the risk of death while giving birth, having a still birth is also higher in teenage mothers and also the chances of developing fistula are high in young mothers. Teenage mothers rarely get the chance to finish education as they are now burdened with taking care of their children and this in the end leads to low productivity of these individuals culminating into poverty in the long term.

The major cause of teenage pregnancy is premised to be lack of sex education for girls which leads them into situations they don’t know how to deal with, the breakdown of the family unit has also contributed to teenage pregnancies as the only protection that girls had is now the silent killer for girls.

The role of sex education is very important in having healthy relationships that are beneficial to society. Teenagers need to be educated about the dangers of having sex at an early age

Having sex at an early age has effects on both the boy and girl, whereas boys treat it as just sex in some situations families of the girl force the boy to take responsibility of the pregnancy leading to families headed by teenagers. They all miss out on a chance of having a proper education to be able to fulfill their dreams and live a satisfactory life.

Peer education should include Family planning talk which includes teaching teenagers how to have manageable families. family planning is essential in the modern day as the cost of living is high and maintaining a family especially in the urban areas is expensive.

The most common method of family planning especially for sexually active teenagers is the use of condoms for both boys and girls. These are available for free in government health facilities, Makerere University had a policy where health ministers for different halls always distributed condoms for free in student rooms and also were provided for free at the university hospital.

Adolescent health is another good health practice, couples need to support each other when expecting a child. The men need to support their partners especially by going for antenatal visits with the expectant mother. Antenatal visits will ensure that the mother has a safe delivery, know her HIV status so make sure the baby is safe from any danger, and also monitor the growth of the baby. The support of the father gives the mother the comfort that she will not be alone in raising a child. Raising a child in a loving home will give a child the kind of protection they need to grow into responsible citizens.

Most teenage mothers never get the chance to get through the education, however there are alternative ways of making sure that these teenagers become productive in life. There are many opportunities through vocational institutions where teenagers can learn entrepreneurial skills. These skills can be used by teenage mothers to own businesses which can allow them enough time to also look after their families for example tailoring, candle making, table cloth making, making bead necklaces. These are income generating activities which can earn mothers money, also raise their self esteem as people who can contribute to society in a responsible way.

There are many organisations that are supporting teenage mothers in order to rebuild their lives,  these offer support in terms of making sure they have a ready market for their products and also provide training for them to acquire more business skills.

Eve didn’t get to choose when she will have a child through family planning, she missed out on the support of her partner while she went for antenatal care, she was lucky though not to have contracted HIV from what happened to her and through the support of her daddy was able to complete her studies. She now owns a small business to make sure she can support her son. However, not all girls are as lucky as Eve that some how they can go through this horror and still manage to come through as winners. These ordeals are unfortunate and most times happen to people who don’t deserve them but its not the end for teenage headed families and mothers.

But 1st we must educate the young early enough, knowledge is power, delay sex but if you cant be wise while doing it make sure you use protection.

Your Health Your Wealth.

Denis Musali.

Social Commentator.