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.
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.