ADOLESCENTS:Importance of dialogue highlighted
Parents, teachers and opinion leaders have been called upon to take up their role in speaking to the youth about sexual reproductive health related issues.
The call was made by Imbuto Foundation, yesterday, during a workshop with opinion leaders, parents and teachers on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights.
While addressing the participants, Radegonde Ndejuru, director General of Imbuto Foundation, said parents and teachers play a big role in parenting and upbringing of children, therefore they should play their part and discuss pertinent issues on sexuality with their children and the youth.
“We want to empower parents, teachers and opinion leaders since all these are very vital and play a big role in shaping and upbringing children. These people should understand their role in having dialogue with the youth about sex education and the related challenges,” she said.
Ndejuru added that Imbuto has over ten projects all aimed at reaching out and empowering Rwandan youth.
Denise Uwera, a Health and HIV/AIDS Expert in the Ministry of Education, stated that young people and adolescents are some of the most vulnerable groups that need to be empowered with knowledge on Sexual Reproductive Health.
“Young women between the ages of 20 and 24 are also vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Adolescents have demonstrated poor utilization of health services which calls for need to improve reproductive knowledge, skills and attitudes and also expand utilization of health services for the youth,” she said.
She added that the ministry is also going to ensure existence of laws and policies to address Adolescent Sexual Reproductive health issues and rights.
Innocent Hategekimana, a parent and Head teacher of Groupe Scholaire, Nyarugenge District, noted that some parents are still shy to discuss with their children issues pertaining sexual reproductive health.
He stated if parents, teachers and opinion leaders, don’t wake up to their role, then the youth will continue to suffer ill-fated consequences such as unwanted teenage pregnancies simply because they are ignorant about the issues.
He, however, hastened to add that the awareness campaigns through Imbuto Foundation and other stakeholders have empowered those concerned who are now learning their role, to educate and inform adolescents about sexual reproductive health.