One of the questions that kept coming up was, “Given our current fertility rate and the traditional belief in children as a blessing, how are we going to manage our population structure?” The answer lies in investing in family planning methods that are available for people to choose of their free will and free from coercion.
Aren’t processes that affect millions of young people supposed to provide an environment that is conducive towards meaningful youth engagement and inclusion, especially in a year when the focus is on the youth? Aren’t processes supposed to be clear enough for a young man or woman on this continent to understand?
With our recommended intervention, we the Kenyan youth will feel, and say, that the Innovative Youth Intervention Center, is ours, ni yetu!
Though my journey has just begun, I hope part one of my life’s story inspires many others, especially girls and young women, to join me on this journey. Do not ever feel greatness does not come from slums.
As a girl growing up in a rural community, I never had resources or power to help out my peers. This meant I witnessed a lot of suffering. All the same, I realized eventually that my voice is a very powerful tool that I can use to help girls my community, and that drove me to action.
There were days I walked miles to and from high school, which was miles away in the neighboring community. There were days when I sold coconuts in the village and snacks on the school bus in order to make money for school fees. Despite this hardship, I was determined to complete high school.
Being a volunteer was something rather new for our generation, and so were civic education, youth rights and the concept of participation. For that reason most of our parents had little knowledge and understanding of why this was important to me and my peers, as participation had political and negative connotations and sex and sexuality were generally a taboo.
We talk about how we’ve grown up in these movements, what inspires us about these movements, what we’ve learned from the dynamics and people these movements are comprised of, and how these movements have changed (and have changed us).
It seemed like the inequalities for girls were abundant no matter where I looked. I started to realize that something was wrong, that there was a power trying to keep me down and that didn’t want me to be confident and strong.
These initiatives are empowering because these young people are able to openly talk about sex through comprehensive sexuality education modules and make choices about their bodies. The programs are also reassuring for a brighter future in the women's rights movement because girls can openly discuss and suggest solutions to their own problems.
Sharing from my experience I would like to say that young women should be able to challenge the society, social norms, and the status quo. Challenge the structures. Challenge people who challenge you! Keep doing what you do and one day people will see what you mean and realize the impact you are making. We can’t make everyone happy, nor should we be required to try.
I believe that every woman is powerful, and just needs to explore her inner strengths. This is a story of an ordinary woman who opened her eyes in the very normal middle class family, where no women was allowed to seek/find and or explore her abilities to challenge the family norms and traditions against women.