Forum for African Women Educationists Kenya (FAWEK) Wednesday launched the ‘Imarisha Msichana’ programme in Garissa County which aims to significantly reduce the cases of teenage pregnancy in Kenya.
The programme, an initiative implemented by FAWEK in partnership with the MasterCard and Red Cross Foundations targets teen mothers and adolescents aged nine to 18 and young women aged 19 to 25 and is set to impart useful knowledge and skills to help girls become productive members of their communities.
Speaking during the launch at a Garissa hotel, FAWEK representative to Garissa Naomi Kamitha said that they will work together with stakeholders and deliberate on how their interventions will help and work well with what they are already doing in the county.
‘Imarisha Msichana’ programme will be in 20 counties and Garissa county is one of the counties that we will be working in with the aim of seeing a significant reduction in cases of teenage pregnancies,” Kamitha said.
“Our interventions will be focused on community sensitizations, we will also be working with the schools to strengthen systems and also through clubs to see that the students have a safer place to voice their challenges and have an open dialogue with the teachers,” she added.
FAWEK will also be working with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to implement the piloting of the programme for two years in the selected counties.
The selection will also include targeting of adolescent girls living with disabilities and those from refugee communities.
On his part, the Director of Education in Garissa county Hussein Ali said that approximately 3000 children have dropped out of school most of them being girls according to an assessment carried out last year by the education ministry.
“In our county there are quite a number of girls who are not in school so there is still the need to bring them. We also have the issue of girls lacking sanitary towels and the Ministry is helping a lot,” said Ali.
The ‘Imarisha Msichana’ programme is being implemented in 20 counties and is set to work in conjunction with stakeholders, societal gatekeepers, and duty bearers at county level which include the local administration, county administration and school representatives to help eradicate the dropping out of school by teen girls.
By Abdulhamid Suleiman