KAMPALA- Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic struck Uganda; there has been soaring cases of teenage pregnancies and domestic violence in the country.
This has been largely due to the fact they are lack access to proper information regarding sexual reproductive health and the care takers have not granted them the due support in this trying moment.
At the Kampala Youth Engagement Summit held on Friday, October 16, at Victoria University Auditorium organised by Reach A Hand (RAHU) and its partners in service. The youth were urged to keep patient and get focused despite the prevailing situation.
Ms. Twasiima Bigirwa, a feminist lawyer said that language is very key in matters concerning the youth.
“When you listen to these young girls’ stories, it is them dating older men; we need to use the proper language to have that proper communication. The media is the message and messenger and most of them stereotype the narrative. Many of them are the bottom feeders and do not have the power to change things”. Bigirwa asserted.
One of the panelists, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Francis Ogweng, the Child and Family Protection Officer noted that the figures are true but not hiked.
He emphasized the need to make the police their friends and always contact them at all time since it is their duty to protect the citizens and their property.
“We have the bad people and let us not create the opportunity for them. These crimes are happening but people don’t want to report. Most people go to wrong to places and many do not know their rights and if so they fear to report people they know. In this fight, we have very many stakeholders that include us children, parents and government.” Said ASP Ogweng adding that parents are jeopardizing all this because of poverty and cited that in Bugiri they has a case and the parent them not to imprison some the boy because they feared how their daughter will be without him.
Reverend Moses Ssemugooma, from Mityana Diocese Church of Uganda, cited that if we do not change the mind set the problem will continue.
“During my encounters as a man of God, I had a situation where a young boy of 7 years has sex using a polythene bag. The adolescent boys are crucial because if we leave them out, we shall have young hopeless men yet the ladies are much raised well. So it would create that imbalanced situation that we do not want. I had another situation were a girl ran to a man since in their family they weren’t getting married, so such that had propelled her to get a man”. He explained.
The summit also had virtual contributions from other youth from Kasese and Adjumani, notable speakers such as Mrs. Maggie Kigozi, the Director of Crown Beverages, Raymond Mujuni, religious leaders not forgetting performances from Wake and Daxx Kartel.
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