Kenya: Kilifi Girls to Benefit From Safe Spaces to Curb Teen Pregnancies

2 December 2020

About 3,000 girls from Kilifi County are set to undergo life skills training that will help curb teen pregnancies.

In a project launched last week by the Kilifi Cluster, a collaboration between three community-based organisations, the girls aged between nine and 19 will be trained on various aspects.

The training will include financial literacy and entrepreneurship where teen mothers will be taught various ways of income generation including baking and making soap.

Speaking during the launch, Safe Community Youth Initiative Programme Manager Ben Katana said the two-year project dubbed "My Voice Matters" will help build girls' confidence, majority who are usually vulnerable.

"Many of our girls fall victim because they do not know how to speak out for themselves. This project will take the girls through all these stages to boost their confidence and inform them on sexual education," he said.

Pad a Dada Initiative and New Visioners Arts Group are also targeting girls from more than 16 villages, especially in Kilifi South, who will be part of the program.

This happens as fears rise over an increase in teen pregnancies in the county.

Kilifi Gender and Culture executive Dr Anisa Omar, who was the chief guest at the function, said 3,307 cases had already been reported between January and May, a number set to double or even triple due to the schools' closure.

Rescue centres

"We expect that between December and January there will be a baby boom in Kilifi where many girls will be giving birth because they have been away from school since March marking nine months," said Dr Omar.

Kilifi County continues to have a shortage of safe spaces and rescue centres.

"Maintaining safe spaces is expensive yet we need them. It is time some parents went back to the old ways where the girls speak to their aunties and grandmothers whenever they have problems," she said.

The most affected areas with high prevalence of teen pregnancies are Rabai, Magarini, Kilifi North and Mtwapa.

Dr Omar said Rabai had the highest number of girls aged between 10 to 14 years who are affected.

Boda boda riders and the inability of parents to provide basic needs like sanitary pads have been blamed for the vice.

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