Once upon a time, right after college and fresh into the job market. I landed myself in an organization. It hosted a clinic, a youth center and other reproductive health related project offices. Back in school they said we needed to find meaning out there, and i was bent on just that.
And so months into talking, sensitizing and creating referral networks on Sexual Gender Based Violence, I finally found the meaning I so badly sought. I came to the realization of the naked realities that faced the youths, my very own peers. In series of focused group discussions we talked of the challenges youth underwent. The barriers in correct information regarding our very own sexual lives, the unintended yoke of culture that pull our minds and the effects of the "well learned" Dr.Google who answered every tiny thing about ourselves. Its clear that although we knew much about our sexual and reproductive health ,It is never enough even as ages change. So years on I carried the same message.Making friends and talking about the youths. Moving forward, I agree with three things,
" ....you may never quite see it, but sexual and reproductive health is a right
you may want to blame others but it is also your choice
you may want others to take care of it but it still is your responsibility...."
Every day when you go to the washrooms, take your time to know your penis or your vagina, do not ignore the burning sensation you feel as you relieve yourself. Everyday you see that painless swelling, inside or outside your vaginal labia, care to worry and go for a check up. You could be scared of coming out and saying your pains after a circumcision ceremony, you don't want them feeling you are less of a man, but what if its an infection? You were circumcised in secret, and you are bleeding to weakness, woman go out there and get help. As my peers would say...."Kesi Baadaye" (Literally translated as....Lawsuits later). You are having a painless lump on your breast, extremely painful menses or hormonal imbalances, it's about time you cared. It's a Friday evening, and the harvest is ripe in the neighboring town, so money flows like January sweat, you buy sex, my friend protect yourself. You may have worked the whole night, there were no customers, and close to morning he comes, he looks loaded with cash, but won't use protection: care to protect yourself. Have a safe deal. It's a project X of its kind in your neighborhood, and there is minty alcohol and sheesha to go round, and so you are lost in the excitement, carry a whole box of protection. You are HIV positive, and so is your mate, you feel that it doesn't matter you could have unprotected sex: prevent reinfection, your variant of HIV could be another from his.Care to take responsibility, care to choose a safe sexual and reproductive health, care to enjoy your right to the fullest.