By Deo Wasswa
Non Governmental Organizations including, Economic, social empowerment for local communities (ESLA) Uganda, Kids Club Kampala and the US based followings foundation have launched a new campaign dubbed “Community girl parliament ” striving at keeping girl child in schools and handling issues affecting them.
Studies have shown that 25% of Ugandan girls become mothers before they celebrate 18th birthday and cases of school dropouts have rampantly increased in Uganda especially among adolescent girls.
While addressing a news conference at the Kids Club Kampala head offices in Kanyanya, Kawooya Aloziyous, the director of Esla Uganda, says child Marriages and unsafe abortions are on rampage in this nation Uganda which seeks for the interventions from the general public to stand against.
“It should be remembered that the Constitution of Uganda (1995), entails all children below the age of 18 be at school with or without fail”, adds Kawooya.
By enforcing this, Government implemented the U.P.E and U.S.E school for the parents who cannot afford school dues to be catered for never the less, the standard in some of these schools is very minimal.
Meanwhile, Sam Wambayo, the executive director Kids Club Kampala, the co-partner in the campaign, revealed that many Ugandan Women get engaged in sexual acts, at an early age as early as 14 years, meaning they are prone to being infected with diseases like STDs, HIV, Teenage pregnancy issues among others.
Esla’s director Aloysius Kawooya says they have had interventions with many places in the Eastern Uganda and they are now planning to extend to other places of the country since they have mainly focused in the Central due to capacity and affordability issues.
Statistics show that Central region has got 41 of such cases and south west (that is greater Masaka covers only 37% of the 41 and Kampala covers 21%). Eastern Uganda covers 52% of early marriages, Teenage pregnancy among others according to the UNFPA report.
It is also believed that in Uganda 39% of Women aged 20-49 give birth by age of 18 and more than half (63%) have had their first birth by age 20, 30.7% were currently pregnant.
Evidence shows that girls from the rural areas totaling to 24%, give birth earlier than girls from urban areas that stand at 21% but this is due to the positive relationships between poverty, women’s education and neglect the major cause of this.
However, Wambayo noted that all these issues shall be handled during the Gal Parliament campaign, where pupils, students and other members of the public shall be met to discuss on the way forward and how to handle the matter in communities through various interventions.