The East and Central Africa Network Liaison office planned and carried out an outreach on 1st December 2020, in commemoration of World AIDS day. Our main target focused on teenage mothers, together with those who are at risk of getting into the situation, especially due to the year-long closure of schools occasioned by the COVID 19 pandemic. This was done in the sprawling Eastlands slums of Nairobi, where 25 participants and four facilitators attended. There was an in-depth discussion about the triggers of young girls engaging in early sexual habits, including peer influences, coercion, favours, idleness, fun-seeking, stress relief, force among others. There were also deliberations on risks and consequences. There were suggestions put forward on how they can be supported to avoid recurrence among those who are already affected and those who are vulnerable. The participants were finally given carry homes including badges and masks with anti-domestic violence messages, sanitary pads and two packs of cooking flour. They were all very grateful for the opportunity to interact, be mentored and also promised to remain active in our future initiatives.
“We acknowledge the impact and the effects Covid-19 has had to the world at large, realized that cases of GBV are on the rise. As the United Nations and other international bodies come in to intervene, there is a need for member States to avail adequate resources to be able to protect young women and teenage girls, who have mostly fallen victim to the prevailing situations.
Due to the underlying Social and Economic conditions, mental health issues have become worrisome, with spillover habits such as domestic violence, drug abuse among others rising in Kenya. The efforts being done to implement the mental health policy for 2015-2030 is laudable, and we urge other members states to follow suit with regards to the implementation of the same to the latter including the international policies, treaties and convention.” Read the full statement by East and Central Africa Network for Crime and Substance use Prevention and Treatment, WFAD Liaison Office, Nairobi, below.