Teenage pregnancy continues to be one of the triple threats in Kenya. This chronic wound denies the adolescent population from realizing their growth potential of being productive citizens to themselves and their communities. Where teen pregnancy is, there are high numbers of HIV infections and SGBV. Despite the percentage of teen pregnancies dropping from 18% to 15% between 2020 and 2023, we must confess that the rate is still indubitably high for a country aiming toward economic development. So then, what are we doing to counter another spike in the near future?
Early in 2023, Gingko Africa prioritized preventing teen pregnancy in the communities through innovative education approaches in Sexual and Reproductive health and mental health, maximizing peer-to-peer learning. As of May, it is clear that the sessions have been successful, as 130 boys and girls have successfully benefitted from the Gingko community mentorships conducted in Kawangware, Dandora, Kangemi, and Kibera -Lindi, Silanga, and Mashimoni. These community mentorships capitalized on mentoring their peers with the correct information about sex and reproductive health with the knowledge they acquired from Blossom Through Teenagehood book. In addition, the mentorships provide a safe space for teenagers to learn together and unpack some of the myths in society around sex education and air their various views on these matters.
'It was so rewarding to see the young boys and girls open up about how much they learned, talk about their hardships, and receive supportive counseling from their peers and mentors in a caring environment that makes a substantial difference in the lives of these young adults,' said Vennah one of the peer mentors.
One, Lilian commented, and I quote,' No one talks to me about sex while growing up; this is despite having parents who went to school.' You can only imagine what is happening or not happening in less educated family settings.
We continue to nurture teenagers as they become responsible and proactive adults.