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Establish teen mothers’ rehabilitation centers, Counties asked

The National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) committees and stakeholders have been asked to establish rehabilitation centers in counties to serve as refuge centers for offering guidance and counselling services to distressed teenage mothers.

The centers should be equipped with youth friendly services to allow for recovery and give room for smooth transition to proceed with their studies.

A psychologist and a part time lecturer at Kibabii University Dr. Leonidah Makila speaking to KNA in Bungoma Wednesday said teen mothers should never be stigmatized or denied the chance to proceed with their education.

At the same time, Dr. Makila expressed concern over the spiking number of teenage mothers in Bungoma and Busia counties saying that girls have generally lacked basic love, guidance and counseling from the society, thus exposing them to these challenges.

“I urge all stakeholders to unite and put up a rehabilitation centre in every county that will help in giving friendly services to teen mothers and help them avoid stigmatization from the society,” she said, adding that mentorship programs should be started in every community to guide teenagers.

“Our teenagers were exposed to too much pornographic content during the Covid-19 lockdown since many of them were idle, making them engage in negative peer pressure influence which resulted in the surge in teenage pregnancy and drug abuse,” she noted.

Makila who is also the Chairperson Bungoma County Education Board, supported the move by activists that sporting activities should resume in schools to help students nurture and develop youth talents.

She attributed the increase in sexual activities and bad behavior in and out of schools to idleness and aggressiveness due to lack of sporting events.

“Sports help reduce aggression, burn fats and reduce sexual energy, thereby helping our teenagers avoid early sexual intercourse that may direct them to become early mothers,” she said.

The University lecturer said that teachers should be at the forefront in supporting teenage mothers and teenage fathers who agree to go back to school to continue with their academics.

Makila urged the clergy to also come up with teen friendly mentorship programs in churches in an effort to save the future generations, while quoting former South African President Nelson Mandela who said that denying people an education destroys a generation.

Dr. Makila urged politicians to initiate programs that will equip the youth with skills that will help them provide good leadership in future.

By Godfrey Wanjala

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