Mwakirunge Youths Lead Community Discussion on Teenage Pregnancies
03/25/2024 18:41 in News

By Shirley Wandera

Youths in Mwakirunge are taking a stand against teenage pregnancies in their community. On Sunday, aspiring journalists under the Search for Common Ground's Youth Talk initiative hosted a dialogue event to discuss this pressing issue.

While teenage pregnancy rates in Mombasa have shown a decline, Mwakirunge continues to grapple with the problem. Many attribute this to the area's remoteness compared to other parts of the county.

Financial Hardship and Lack of Communication Cited

Fatuma Ali, a Form 3 student at Mwakirunge Secondary School, identified financial difficulties as a factor. "The lack of sanitary towels and insufficient funds for meals are major concerns," she explained. "Challenges also arise when parents cannot afford necessities like shoes or clothing. It can lead some girls to seek alternative ways to acquire them."

Area Chief Ali Mzungu echoed these concerns, highlighting poverty as a leading cause. He further emphasized the need to include boys in the conversation. "Many organizations focus on girls, but boys play a crucial role. They need education on responsible behavior and delaying sexual activity."

Mama Maula Mohammed contributing to the discussion during the event. Photo: Courtesy

Collaboration and Open Communication Seen as Key

The dialogue also revealed concerns about the lack of collaboration between parents, teachers, and community leaders. Parents even pointed fingers at boda boda operators, accusing them of targeting school girls.

However, the chairman of the Mwakirunge boda boda association refuted these claims. "It's the responsibility of parents to instill good morals in their children," stated Abdul Aziz. "If children leave home dressed inappropriately, the problem starts there, not with us."

Mwakirunge community members listening attentively to the young journalists at the event. Photo: Courtesy

Community Engagement and Parental Responsibility Highlighted

Community members ultimately proposed a combined parental effort as the solution. Wahida Mohammad of Search for Common Ground expressed optimism about the community's commitment to finding solutions. "With collaboration and effort, this issue can be resolved." She stated.

The dialogue also underscored the importance of ongoing communication. Mama Maula Mohammed, Chairlady of Sauti ya Mwanamke Mwakirunge, emphasized the value of such forums. "These discussions empower the community in raising our children," she explained. "We need to return to a sense of collective responsibility, where everyone contributes to a more disciplined youth."

Youth Talk Program Empowers Young Journalists

The Youth Talk program empowers young people like Luthfia Kadenge by equipping them with journalism skills for conflict resolution and community engagement. Luthfia, now a host on Radio Kaya's Tubonge Show, expressed her gratitude for the program. "I had no prior journalism experience," she said. "Search for Common Ground has given me the confidence to speak publicly."

The event was also attended by Mwakirunge Assistant Chief Mr. Pascal and Maunguja Assistant Chief Ms. Priscilla Mnyazi.

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