Tuesday, January 19, 2010


As part our mission of promoting sexual abstinence among the teenagers in Uganda, the comforter’s center is planning to carry out many out reaches to make sure that the message of sexual abstinence is taught among all the youth in Uganda in 2010.

To begin with, on the 13th January 2010, the abstinence education team from The Comforter’s Center visited Hope for Children Uganda. Hope for children is a non governmental organization located in Namuwongo-Kampala. This organization takes care of vulnerable children who live in the slums of Namuwongo (Soweto and Kanyogoga). This organization has more than one hundred children between the ages of 8-14years and some of them are orphans who lost their parents due to HIV/AIDs scourge.

As we reached the place, we were introduced to the children who were seated in a room. These children looked to be young and innocent. In fact we asked ourselves how we were going to introduce a topic concerning sex to them. We first asked their director and she told us that those children are young in years but old in the way they think and reason or react to certain things. She told us that these are children who have grown up in poor conditions; first of all they stay in bad places (Slums) and are exposed to all kinds of life. They have grown up in poverty and usually they can do anything in life to make their ends meet and to survive. They share single rooms with their parents, are exposed to bad groups especially drunkards, people who take drugs and video halls. All these make then vulnerable to bad behaviours including being exposed to sexual behaviours through watching bad movies.

During our discussion with the children, we were surprised to hear what came from the mouth of these young children who looked to be innocent. We realized that those young children knew what sex means. We discussed with the children what sexual abstinence means and why they should avoid it. We also told them about the benefits of avoiding sexual activities before marriage which include being free from unwanted pregnancies as well as STDs/STIs and the only way to live a good life. From our discussion we observed that the reason why teenagers are sexually active at an early age is due to peer pressure, taking drugs/alcohol, media influence/pornography, poverty to mention but a few. We tried to sensitize the children that they should try as much as possible to avoid such risky behaviours and think about their future dreams and goals. We also talked to them that avoiding sexual activities before marriage will enable them to become responsible people in their later years.

On a similar mission, on 16th January, The Comforter’s center also visited Jesus Christian Center, a church located in Busega-Kampala. The church invited us to sensitize their youth about sexual abstinence. The number of people who attended was 35 and most of them were actually youth. During our discussion with them, we realized that children all over the country have similar reasons why they practice sexual activities before marriage. We also talked to them about dangers of pre-marital sex including unwanted pregnancies, abortions which can lead to death, Sexually Transmitted Diseases/infections (STDs/STIs), and other emotional problems. We tried as much as possible to teach them ways to avoid sexual activities including avoiding peer pressure, avoiding alcohol/drugs, avoid indecent dressing to mention but a few. We talked to them that if they are willing to abstain from sex until they get married; they will enjoy their youth life, plan for their future and live a better and good life without worrying about the above consequences.

As we were talking to the youth, we realized that our families/parents have also contributed much to the early sexual activities among the youth. Parents no longer have time for their youth since they are usually busy at their work places. Working is not good but they should reserve time for their children. In addition to that, the youth have also been taken up by the media. They think that whatever they see on televisions or via the internet is good and they tend to copy bad behaviours which are not good in our societies.

The most sensitive topic of the day was abortion. It was discussed that life is a gift from God, and every life is valuable and sacred before Him. We discussed that we were created in the image of God so we should value every kind of life that is born or pre-born. We discussed abortion as sin before God and that it destroys our image as children of God. We talked to them that abortion is sin but it can be cleansed, and the only one who can take away that sin is Jesus Christ. It was at this time that one of the participants confessed that she had an abortion.

Betty’s confession

During our visit at Jesus Christian center, one of the girls called Betty confessed to us the trauma she is going through due to an abortion she had some two years back. Betty post-abortive has been facing a terrible moment since she had her abortion two years ago in January 2008. After realizing that she was pregnant, Betty went to talk to her boyfriend about it but unfortunately, he denied the pregnancy. She became disappointed at that particular time, she had no one to help her and she took a personal decision to abort without consulting any one. Her confession came after presenting a message on life and abortion and mentioning some of the symptoms which come as a result of the sin of abortion. Betty said that since she carried out that abortion, she has been experiencing guilt and self condemnation after terminating a pregnancy of four months. Betty thought that no one could ever forgive her for aborting her baby. However, after presenting the message about the value of life and about the love of Jesus Christ, she came and confessed. She said that if anyone had ever talked to her about abortion and life like the comforter’s center has done by that time, she would have saved the life of her baby. We prayed for her and she promised to start on the Healing Hearts Bible Study.

Betty is not the only person who is going through that Trauma. We know that there are very many girls who are going through a similar situation only that they do not have any one to help them. That’s why the comforter’s center is doing its duty of helping teenagers to avoid risky behaviours and live a better life through its sexual abstinence program.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Uganda: Bitamazire is Admitting Failure of Her Ministry!

UGANDA'S minister of Education and Sports, Namirembe Bitamazire, announced over the weekend that she may seek to ban pregnant students from sitting examinations. The current policy expels pregnant students but allows them to sit for examinations.

Such drastic action according to the minister is needed because "If we allow this trend to continue, we may have to train teachers as midwives." She added, "This is immorality and it should be discouraged." Now, to avoid dead-end education policy aimed at scoring cheap political points, the Ministry of Education needs to carefully study the problem of teenage pregnancy, looking at current global research that speaks to what works in reducing the problem.

A good starting point for the good minister and her officials is the report for the Guttmacher Institute written by Singh et al (2006) entitled "Unintended Pregnancy and Induced Abortion in Uganda: Causes and Consequences". According to the study, an estimated 297,000 induced abortions are performed each year in Uganda, meaning a yearly abortion rate of 54 per 1,000 women aged 15-49. It is safe to assume that a significant percentage of these unsafe abortions are being carried out by stigmatised, scared school students who see getting rid of the unborn foetuses as the only way to avoid social ridicule and oppressive school policies.

Indeed, to follow the minister's logic, draconian school policies that punish would-be teenage mothers would be the perfect answer to this national tragedy. In other words, for the pregnant student, the minister's policy would give just two choices-lose the baby before it is born or forever stay away from school. Indeed the Guttmacher report makes the important observation that the Uganda school system is woefully inadequate in educating school boys and girls about healthy sexuality. For the most part, school children rely on self-education from peers who also know next to nothing about the subject. As it noted, a survey reported that 44 percent of boys and 50 percent of girls aged 15-19 had never participated in a classroom discussion of sexuality. Moreover, a good chunk of these sexually ignorant pupils had not attended an education talk on sex before experiencing their first sexual encounters.

What is clear is that Minister Bitamazire is covering up for the utter failure of her ministry to tackle the problem of teenage pregnancy in a constructive non-threatening fashion. This catastrophic failure means that thousands of perfectly literate children do not know much about their sexuality, how to respect their bodies and, most important, prevent unwanted pregnancy. She is still of the old school that believes that the best discipline is by naming and shaming the students. This old-fashion idea will surely see young pregnant teenagers go underground, seek potentially deadly ways by which to abort thereby not only killing the unborn babies but possibly put the lives of the young mothers at risk.

Now, compare this with humane school policies in America, Canada, Britain and other developed countries where teenage pregnancy has gone way down. In these countries, education authorities, well aware that stopping pregnant teens from going to school will make them dependent on the state or on relatives, support their needs for completing their education. In Canada, teenage pregnancy has steadily declined from a 1974 high of 53.9 per 1,000 population ages 15 to 19, to 32.1 in 2003.

Similar trends are evident in the United States where teen childbearing has steadily dropped over the years, from a high of 96 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 in 1957 to 49 in 2000. The interesting thing here is that instead of wielding big moral stick with which to beat wayward teenagers who may risk getting pregnant, schools encourage children to become informed about sexuality.

The education curriculum in these countries deliberately confront teenage sexuality with facts not fiction, allowing young people to feel safe inside the classroom rather than in the back alleys asking questions about their changing bodies. Sexuality is openly talked about, enabling young teenagers to feel empowered in making choices out of knowledge rather than through artificial fear. Consequently, teenage pregnancy continues to drop as teenagers learn more about healthy sexuality including abstinence and using safe contraceptive methods.

What the Uganda teenage pregnancy cries out for is a need for more education not intimidation through high flying moral grandstanding. A step in the right direction is the collaboration between schools and the privately funded "Young Talk" for primary school pupils between the ages of 10 to 14 and "Straight Talk" for the older teens between 15 and 19. These two publications carry positive messages about relationships, growing up, delaying sex, using a condom, and preventing HIV/STDs and testing for HIV. But the number of children getting this vital information is quite small when one considers the large population of sexually active teenagers in Uganda.

With regard to the issue of morality, the minister should consider these questions before she goes about banning pregnant students from sitting examination. Foremost, which is immoral, the lustful men out there preying on teenage children to quench their sexual appetites, getting them pregnant and then leaving then as unwed teen mothers without a shilling to care for the babies or the vulnerable young teenage girls? Which is more immoral, the fact that these girls got pregnant through ignorance or the fact that the very school system that is charged with their safety, health, welfare and education has utterly failed them at the crucial moment in their adolescent years?

And, finally, what is more immoral than denying young mothers opportunity to complete school so that they have opportunities to care for their families? Mrs. Bitamazire, stop blaming pregnant teenage girls and start teaching them. They might actually learn something.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January is the sanctity of human life month

Everybody has a story. No matter our background, our culture, our financial position, our goals and dreams; inside each of us is an unwritten and often untold story. Over the last few years here at The Comforter’s Center, there have been & continue to be many stories, many accounts of lives saved and changed forever because of the Power of Jesus and His love for all life including life in the womb. Christians around the world share the horror at the pernicious cancer of abortion within their countries.
Strength comes in the knowledge that we are all members of one body; each of us is blessed with individual abilities to edify our sisters and brothers and to enlarge the Kingdom of God . Abortion has produced a vast mission field into which laborers must venture to sow seeds of truth and win souls for Christ
Poverty, restricted access to transportation and communication, and gender inequity, however, often prevent the development, growth, and operation of life-giving ministries of The Comforter’s Center. These obstacles faced by The Comforter’s centers provide an opportunity to lend a hand and help make great things happen in Uganda
While the mission field created by abortion is immense, each word spoken, each prayer offered, each seed carefully planted is important and will bear fruit for a testament to the boundless grace of Jesus

Together we can save one body of unborn child and the soul of the mother one at a time; we can make a difference in our world at such a time like this.

We pray God's absolute best upon your life during this month of the sanctity of human life

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New year

The Comforter’s Center-Uganda wishes to congratulate all its partners and friends for having successfully completed 2009. As we are beginning this New Year (2010), we would like to thank our dear Lord for protecting us throughout this festive season. We know a lot of things have happened during this festive season. Some people have died of accidents, some have fallen sick and others have faced different challenges but we glorify God for protecting us and bringing us back safely to our office.

We had closed the office for Christmas celebrations on 23rd Dec, 2009 but now that the festive season is over the center have resumed our work. 2009 has been a blessing not only to The Comforter’s Center but also to our clients as well. Since it has been a blessing to the comforter’s center, we do hope that it was a blessing to you all.

Last year we received a lot of visitors both from within and from abroad. They blessed us with items such as baby items like baby clothes, baby shawls, caps to mention but a few. These items that were donated to us were given as material assistance to our clients especially those with crisis pregnancies. In 2009, the center saved very many children from abortion. This is one of the reasons why we exist. Our mission as comforters’ center is to create an environment where every human heart is cherished and protected within strong families. So saving babies from abortion is one of the achievements we had in 2009.

As we begin this New Year, we promise our clients that we will do whatever it takes to make sure that children saved from abortion are protected. We will continue to pray to God to provide for them whatever they need in life. At The Comforter’s Center, we trust and believe that God can do anything in life and we do believe that God created those children for a purpose and He has a plan for them. We will continue to counsel women and to encourage them to move on with their lives. In addition to that, The Comforter’s Center has a project called “The move on sisters”. This project was established by the comforter’s center to help girls who drop out of schools due to crisis pregnancies and this project is here to help our clients to go back to school. We do believe that this project will help these young mothers to be able to take care of their children and live a better life in future. In addition to that it will help these young mothers realize their future goals and dreams.

The comforter’s center in this year i.e. 2010 would like to carry out reach out programs to various districts in Uganda. The center wishes to extend its ministry of protecting the lives of the voiceless unborn children throughout Uganda. The center believes that abortion should be an unthinkable and unnecessary act. The center wishes to educate the public that abortion is harmful emotionally, physically and spiritually to women, men and families, so that no one should think about it as the solution to unwanted pregnancy. In addition to that the center also will continue offering post-abortion counseling to ladies who have had abortions. The center will also continue to reach out to children in schools, in communities, and in churches to teach them about sexual purity or biblical sexuality. We have realized that most women who are faced with crisis pregnancies are school going girls and if they are not exposed to this kind of education then the number of unwanted pregnancies and the rate of acquiring STDs will increase among the young generation. The center also wishes to continue its mission of promoting natural family planning methods among married couples who are also experiencing unwanted pregnancies. This method will include the promotion of the bead cycle among Ugandan women. We do believe that this method will reduce the number of women who unwillingly become pregnant and plan abortion as the only alternative solution.

The center wishes to thank all those who stood with us financially, materially, spiritually and morally in 2009. Whatever you contributed to The Comforter’s Center is highly appreciated. We pray that God blesses you abundantly for supporting us and again we pray that you continue with the heart for the center.