Teenage pregnancy awareness starts in Eastern Province

A one-week public campaign to raise awareness about teenage pregnancy has been launched in all districts of Eastern Province.According Odette Uwamariya, the Eastern Province governor, the campaign, launched Thursday, was in response to reported cases of teenage pregnancies in schools and communities.
Students follow through during a previous awareness campaign. The New Times/ File.
Students follow through during a previous awareness campaign. The New Times/ File.

A one-week public campaign to raise awareness about teenage pregnancy has been launched in all districts of Eastern Province.

According Odette Uwamariya, the Eastern Province governor, the campaign, launched Thursday, was in response to reported cases of teenage pregnancies in schools and communities.

Uwamariya said the week seeks to inculcate morals and fighting all that influence wrong decisions among teenagers.

“The awareness campaign will involve the youth in schools and outside schools. All stakeholders should participate. Leaders from village up to the national level and security officials should take responsibility,” she said.

“There is no doubt that teenage pregnancies worry us all, but we should be proactive and not watch as things go wrong for our future generation. Recent cases of underage pregnancies in schools speak volumes about moral degeneration...the week and days after it, will work on the issue,” she said.

Clerics who attended the launch called for strengthening of religious education in school, reiterating that teenage pregnancy needed everyone’s attention, and not only the school’s responsibility.

Brother Camille Rudasingwa, the head teacher of St. Alloys High School, applauded the Provinces’ efforts to raise awareness of the problem.

“Let’s stop making the schools the dumpsites for our children. We must be responsible for our children and support teachers and learners. I just wish all teens knew how really hard this is and how difficult it is to be a teen parent,” said Rudasingwa.

Meanwhile, teachers urged parents and local leaders at the function to support sex education in schools.

Bosco Karangwa, a teacher in Rwamagana, said it was high time students were taught how to make thoughtful sex decisions.

“The more teenagers know about issues like sex, relationships, waiting, and contraception, the better prepared they will be to make informed choices for their future,” she said.

“Adults don’t prevent teenage pregnancy, young people do. Armed with the right knowledge and tools, they will see their own value and nurture a desire for a successful and productive life.”

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