We request you to give us your reflection on the year 20018 regarding the opportunities, challenges regarding youth involvement and participation in matters of development. Kindly, give us five recommendations that can improve youths participation in development
OVER 9,000 girls have dropped out of school in Eastern Province due to pregnancies for the period ranging 2009 -2013. Eastern Province has the highest prevalence of child marriages in the country compared to other regions. “In the past five years from, a total of 9,611 school girls were reported pregnant in Eastern Province alone.
Child marriages, the province has the highest prevalence which stands at 60 percent compared to Luapula at 50 percent, Northern 48 percent, North-western 47 percent, Central 46 percent and Southern Province 38 percent, Western Province stands at 34 percent, Copperbelt 32 and Lusaka Province 28. The need to promote universal, accessible and quality education which embraces equality regardless of one’s social or economic status in society cannot be emphasised. Sexual and reproductive health rights of adolescents is a key to mainstream all efforts to promote girl child education
YDF with the support of European Union through NGOCC embarks on serious campaigns to completely eliminate early marriages and fight teen pregnancies in eastern province of Zambia.
Be a champion to promote girl child education, for any information contact YDF secretariat
Youth Development Foundation will soon launch two new project in January 2017, you are encouraged to continue following our blog page.
We are delighted to inform you that the two projects have commenced. Campaigning for youth participation in decision-making and social accountability in sexual and reproductive health services in Chipata district with the support of Action Aid Zambia and European Union through Non Governmental Organization Coordinating Council (NGOCC).
Young women are rarely seen as unequal partners; they have less access to education and suffer disproportionately with lack of financial resources. Harmful traditional practices such as sexual cleansing persist. Defilement and rape cases are soaring with 25% of school-aged girls subjected to abuse each year. The burden of reproductive health problems falls largely on female adolescents. Not only do they face problems stemming from pregnancy, with its serious health and economic ramifications, but there’s increasing evidence that older men are seeking younger girls as sexual partners increasing the potential risk of contracting STIs and HIV which can lead to infertility and death. Indeed, the problem of teenage pregnancy is a serious and critical matter considering the proportion of young girls who are affected and the consequent problems that generally await the unborn child to these mothers and the status of most mothers themselves.
A young mother who drops out of school because of pregnancy reduces her opportunities in life. In a country with such high poverty levels as Zambia, this means her child is predisposed to live in abject poverty as he/she joins the poverty cycle. Society also pays a heavy price for these children who are predisposed to lack of proper parenting, economic insecurity and at high risk of behavioural problems and vices such as crime, substance abuse and promiscuity. To know how many of these pregnancies are desirable by these female teenagers is difficult without engaging them to disclose. It is also difficult to postulate that total avoidance of sex during teenage years is feasible. In 2013 third term of the school calendar, over 69 girls at Hillside Girls High School fell pregnant in the last two months of which all of them were below the age of 16. In the first term of 2014, in eastern province alone a total of 102 girls fell pregnant leaving much to be desired. Furthermore, Zambia Medical Association also revels that a total of 800 girls’ country wide dropped out of school on account of pregnancy.
Additionally, there are serious effects on the girls such as the emotional, psychological and gynecological problems and complications. Worse still some complications result in death (mortality). Indeed it is not surprising that we hear and read about so many cases of child dumping mostly by very young girls. Unwanted pregnancies usually occur due to failure of contraceptives, lack of access to condoms, rape, sexual abuse, practicing sex for money, as well as lack of information on sexual and reproductive health education. It is estimated that 28% of females aged 15 to 19 years have gotten pregnant; 22% have had a child and 6% are pregnant with their first child. An unwanted pregnancy also often leads to unsafe abortion. According to the 2007 ZDHS, girls have sex earlier than boys and are less likely to use condoms.
In Chipata, Sexual and Reproductive Health education programs are commonly implemented in urban areas by organisations, However there is need to target schools which offer a place to reach large numbers of youth on a regular basis. Moreover, most girls who attend school do so before they initiate sex. Since not all girls are in school when they initiate sex, reaching girls who are out-of-school is paramount in this era of STIs and HIV/AIDS.
It is difficult to believe that pregnancy remains the leading cause of death for girls between 15 and 18 in Zambia. Then, a successful birth at such an age usually leads to further problems, not least an end to schooling and literacy. According to a recent survey by Plan International Zambia in Chipata, two-thirds of children are married between 14 and 15, the rest of them by 18. Many child brides had been coerced into unwanted marriages, often to older men, and frequently immediately after puberty. Over 93% of young people surveyed by Plan regretted getting married so young desire to get back to school.
Teenage Pregnancies are often associated with social issues, including lower educational levels, higher rates of poverty, Low self-esteem, Feelings of regret & heartbreak (not always), Financial & emotional burdens, teen mothers receive late or no prenatal care. Babies born to teens are more likely to be low-birth-weight than those born to women in their 20s and 30s.
However, this project will be an experience and life changing interventions which will require the girls put their lives on hold, revise their life goals, make their daily lives more difficult/challenging, and make them miss out on important teenage experiences such as casual sex interaction.
The aspect of early marriages will reduce as the girls will have adequate knowledge and information on how they can resist of men taking advantage of them. Enrolment in schools is expected to improve as those also that dropped school due maternity will be encouraged and go back to school.
Therefore, YDF will strive to evoke empedements to which limits youth partcipation in decision making at different levels.
YDF are realistic that we cannot change the situation of all young people immediately, but by sowing the seeds of effective participation, this project should influence positively on their future
The Youth Development Foundation (YDF) is implementing an advocacy campaign to reduce early marriages in Chipata district with the financial support of the Non-Governmental Organization Coordinating Council (NGOCC-Zambia). The project seek to sensitise young girls between the age of 13 to 16 years old on the effects premature pregnancies and the importance of school. The project will also sensitise parents on the effects of marrying off their under aged children and provide education support to children who wish to go back to school. YDF pays for their school fees, purchases education requisites such as books, uniforms and many more.
So, join the campaign to fight against early marriages and teenage pregnancies in Chipata today by pledging to support girl child education who has suffered the atmost effects of poverty and illiteracy.
FUNDS A TWO YEAR PROJECT IN ZAMBIA
The Youth Development Foundation has launched a new project on social accountability called ” Good Governance and Accountability Promotion Programme (GAP) in Zambia” with financial resources of the the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) . This is a two year project from April 2015 to March 2017 with series of activities planned to hold duty bearers to account, empower communities to respond to the aspect of decision making and generally promote transparency and accountability in the management of constituency development fund, youth empowerment fund
To do so, YDF will build the capacity of youths to engage in policy monitoring and promote transparency and accountability, increase the awareness of communities on their rights and roles in holding duty-bearers accountable. This will be done through budget tracking and social audit, creating community links and networks, developing social accountability tools, information dissemination to the public on good governance and accountability. The project will also broadcast a series of live radio and television discussions using the available local media.
We are delighted to announce our new partnership with The Condom Pledge??
We are happy to announce our partnership with The condom Pledge. follow us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Youth-Development-Foundation/105539036150134