Students use drama to fight teenage pregnancy

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Students of GS Remera Protestant School perform the play about evils of unwanted pregnancies among the teenage students. / Francis Byaruhanga

As concerns of unwanted pregnancies among the school-going teens increase, students from GS Remera Protestant in Kigali have taken to using songs and drama to show the dangers of early pregnancy to their fellow students.

Speaking during one such event at the school campus last week, Christiane Umuhire, the director of family promotion and child protection at Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, hailed the students’ efforts towards the fight to end the unwanted teen pregnancies.

“This performance showcased by the students is a reminder that the issue is alive and fresh, and calls for attention from the administration and other stakeholders,” she said, adding that packaging the messages in poetry and songs makes them easily understood by society.

For Mertilde Mukakabare, a member of Unity Club, communicating the evils of unwanted pregnancies through drama and poetry is an effective method because students communicate directly to their vulnerable colleagues.

She, however, advised that girls should be keen on the messages since they are the ones that are most affected by the pregnancies.

“Girls should say ‘No’ where necessary in order to avoid bad peer influence that could lead them into risky sexual behavior, drug abuse and other illegal activities,’’ Mukakabare advised.

She promised a helping hand and collaboration with schools and parents in the campaign against unwanted pregnancies and HIV/AIDS among teens.

“Ministry of Family and Gender Promotion is more worried about the lives of the teens and youth. That’s why we tour schools and sensitise students about the evils of the teenage pregnancies,” she said.

Edward Nkurikiye Umukiza, the head teacher of GS Remera Protestant, said they chose drama as a kind of mobilization to attract the attention of students.

Jean Darc Mukaniringiyimana, the head of the school’s parents association, urged parents and school authorities to work together in the campaign.

“Parents, guardians, tutors and teachers have to promote moral values at an early age,’’ he said.

Eric Mizero a P.5 student at GS Remera Protestant said the drama had awakened their minds about the consequences of unwanted pregnancies.

For Vestine Dushimimana, a student at the same school, such drama guides them on how to avoid temptations that could result into unwanted pregnancies.

“The messages in the play gave us the confidence to say ‘No’ when necessary,” she said.

The event also featured giving prizes in form of scholastic materials to students who participated in the different performances.