Okahandja hosts workshop to tackle teenage pregnancy

The Hildes Women and Youth Empowerment Organisation, in collaboration with Unesco, earlier this month hosted a one-day workshop themed ‘Say No to Teenage Pregnancy’ #Academic First, to consider the causes of teenage pregnancy and prevention measures.

The workshop was held at Okahandja Secondary School and was attended by more than 600 pupils.

The annual workshop, which was launched in June last year, was officially opened by Okahandja mayor Kaunapawa Hangula.

Multi-award-winning singer, actor and motivational speaker D-Naff, Miss Namibia 2022 Cassia Sharpley, Nanty Sanimombo-Shilongo – a life skills teacher – and Veronica Tome were among the speakers who addressed the pupils.

Programme facilitator Andreas Robert said the workshop was held after recent statistics on teenage pregnancy in the country indicated that about 15 000 teenagers per year fall pregnant.

“This is very sad for a country that is trying to build an educated society. Oftentimes, the girl does not go back to school.

The statistics are often higher in rural areas where there is a lack of access to information. We believe that the only way to get the situation under control is to educate the vulnerable teenagers about the impacts that early pregnancy has on their productive system,” Robert said.

Robert said the aim of the workshop was to educate the youth about sex topics that are often neglected and considered taboo.

“People don’t talk about sex to growing teenagers. This is the reason we do the workshop because we want the subject of sex education to be discussed more at both household and community levels and at school. Our children need to know this truth so that they can abstain from sex with confidence, he said, adding that the children need to know how to act or protect themselves against pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV-AIDS.

Robert said the workshop also addressed the leading causes of teenage pregnancy, prevention measures and helped the pupils understand their priorities in life during their teenage years.

The workshop was merged with a career fair where the Hilde’s Women and Youth Empowerment organisation brought together different exhibitors to engage the pupils on different career choices.

At the career fair, SNC Incorporated law firm engaged the pupils on different types of lawyers. The Namibia Airports Company explained to the pupils the different aviation courses and the opportunities in their industry.

Robert said the career fair aimed to get the pupils to focus on their academic careers.

“The idea of the career fair is to instil in the children’s minds their end goal when they are done with school. We want the pupils to be at school with their envisaged career goal in mind. We want them to be informed about the entry requirements for different fields of study at different higher institutions of learning and how they can access university funding, which is a challenge as well in society. Identifying the pupils’ employer at an early stage produces the right drive and attitude to learning,” Robert said.

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