Launched virtually by TICAH in partnership with the Straight Talk Foundation Kenya, the three-minute animation makes a compelling case for age appropriate Comprehensive Sexuality Education among adolescents and young people to improve their health outcomes.
In a no holds barred panel discussion moderated by Ms Elizabeth Okumu, Programs manager at TICAH, the panel made up of adult and adolescent SRHR advocates and backed up by an active online audience gnawed on myths and misconception around CSE making #IamForCSE trend nationally. The well thought out road safety analogy in the CSE animation quite resonated well with many.
When teaching children about the roads, we tell them everything from how to read the traffic lights to looking right and left. This would prepare the children to cross the road safely once they were ready. The same approach should be channeled to CSE. Teaching the adolescents in a broader spectrum is therefore necessary.
The panel was in agreement that comprehensive sexuality education is not about teaching and encouraging young people to have sex. Age appropriate CSE empowers young people to make better and informed choices and decisions on matters of their and sexuality. Limited knowledge exposes youth to risky behaviors and negative outcomes such as unintended or unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections including HIV
Has the Government failed entirely in the quest for CSE among adolescents and young people?
Panelist Edward Ikiugu from Straight Talk Foundation Kenya doesn’t believe that’s entirely the case. “Our Government hasn’t completely failed in this, the strides made since 2015 when AYSRH policy was introduced has been of exemption, however more needs to be done especially when it comes to disseminating available policies.” notes Edward.
Panelist Mwikali Kivuvani, the Executive Director for the SRHR Alliance Kenya shared that its of utmost importance to ‘teach young people to cross the road, the road regarding their bodies, sex and sexuality. The power of knowledge means responsibility and the confidence to say NO’ she says as a matter of factly.
From the discussion, it was clear that adolescents and young people need to receive medically accurate, fact based information on sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in a structured manner, safe environment which bridges the gap and keeps the safe.