by Sabrina Hempel
Ainembabazi is helping her peers talk about sexually transmitted diseases, children's rights and healthy sexual behaviour.
I learned how to “protect myself when it comes to my health, education and my rights as a child and as a girl,” says Ainembabazi. Now, the Ugandan student is sharing her insight with others.
Each week, Ainembabazi meets with a group of her peers to share information about how the girls can protect themselves against sexual abuse. After everyone has said their greetings, Ainembabazi gathers the girls together leading them in our interactive and educational games about sexually transmitted diseases, women’s and girls’ rights and healthy sexual behaviour.
By participating in these specially designed games, the teenagers gain crucial knowledge about their bodies and when and how to say no to sexual advances. It’s incredibly empowering. And because these Kampala girls are having fun while they’re learning, they feel safe, comfortable and confident enough to openly engage in Ainembabazi’s sex talks, afterwards.
Following each activity, Ainembabazi and the girls sit down for a discussion about the game they’ve played and how they can apply their new learnings and behaviour to their everyday lives. The conversations are honest and heartfelt with Ainembabazi emphasizing the girls’ commitment to and connection with one another.
At the end, when Ainembabazi asks her friends to define sexual abuse, the girls repeat her courageous words: “sexual abuse is when a child’s rights are taken advantage of.” They know that no matter the circumstances, they will not be vulnerable. The girls are no longer alone. They have the power of knowledge and the help of their community.
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