Nurturing a responsible generation through My Health My Choice
My Health My Choice (MHMC) is one of the Evidence-Based Interventions (EBI) under the DREAMS program that targets girls aged 15-17 years both in school and out of school setup. The course that is administered by two facilitators- a male and a female, has four sessions that build on each other progressively. The course should have between 12-16 participants of mixed gender.
The course focuses on raising youths’ awareness about the sexual risks they are faced with today as well as improving their sexual safety by identifying risky settings. They are also trained on enhancing communication, negotiation, and refusing skills so that they can achieve their life set goals.
It was evident from how the girls have internalized the content when we attended a graduation ceremony at Ulando Primary School in Got Kachola Ward in Nyatike Sub-County, Migori County where 16 girls and boys were issued with certificates after successfully completing the sessions.
The girls expressed optimism that the knowledge they have acquired during the training will go a long way in making them men and women of repute in the community and be role models to others.
Judith Odongo, a standard eight pupil at Ulando Primary School who is an aspiring nurse, confessed that the training she received at the safe space equipped her with life skills on how to resist the constant pressure to engage in pre-marital sex, which may result in teenage pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Daniella Oyugi, also a candidate in the same school argues that many girls fall prey to peer pressure to engage in premarital sex and later on destroy their lives. She points out that this happens due to misinformation. She, therefore, urges other girls to join the program and acquire the necessary wisdom on how to get out of risky situations.
An engineer in the making, Hillary Apula joined the intervention after learning the good teachings his peers were getting from the safe space. He now encourages his fellow boys to join the program and also reap the many benefits it offers.
Between January and March 2021, a total of 403 girls and boys from Got Kachola ward have graduated from the My health My Choice intervention from the LVCT Health DREAMS program.
By Collins Kayubs