With the support of SOL Foundation, AKWOS started its activities under the theme of “Sports: A Powerful Tool for Prevention and Response to Teenage Pregnancies” in September 2022 in Ngoma and Gatsibo Districts/ Eastern Province.
The activities included during this event were:
- Stakeholders Meeting
- Beneficiary Training (with the first objective of making trainees understand reproductive health, know sexually transmitted diseases and how to avoid them, as well as how to count a woman’s period.)
- Training of Local Leaders
- Teams Creation/ (Football and Volleyball) Sector
- Providing basic sports equipment (Balls and whistles)
The project went well and the result was quite impressive. As a result of the beneficiaries training, the participants learned about sports and their importance and could set up their own Football and Volleyball teams in the sectors. Now every Sector has been given sports equipment, and there are available teams. Also, one significant consequence of the training is that every trainee opened an account in “EJO HEZA” as they were given a lesson on saving from the little they have.
Afterward, the training of Local Leaders and Health Advisors took place, during which they were given the necessary resources to help the trainees clean up the pledges and Government programs as well as to follow them in establishing the teams. They were also in charge of monitoring the health of the mother and the child and supported them by launching a campaign about the family planning program.
Nevertheless, this project has encountered different challenges throughout its implementation. We saw problems such as the lack of playgrounds due to unfair housing, the low perception of parents who do not allow children to go back to school, and girls who are still afraid to talk about what happened to fight the violence against them. Additionally, only a few young people are visible in government programs by participating in meetings, community, various discussions, and regular and public sports. And last but not least, young people are still exposed to drugs, a severe problem yet to be tackled.
However, as a way forward and response to these challenges, several adjustments and improvements have been already taken into consideration in different areas. Following the training, the rights holders made the decision to take the initiative in a campaign against drug use, teaching parents to allow girls to return to school, etc. We continue to be optimistic that many things will change after the two years of the project, including an increase in the number of girls who return to school, a decline in juvenile drug use, and improvements to the infrastructure across several places.