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Program to Reduce Teenage Pregnancies Launched

first_imgThe Government of Liberia in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has launched a 4-year program aimed to reduce teenage pregnancies in the Southeastern counties. According to an UNFPA statement, the Swedish Government funded “Empowered and Fulfilled Program” will complement other ongoing reproductive health, gender and livelihood related projects supported by UN agencies in Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee counties.The program is expected to build on achievements made at both national and targeted county levels on young people’s sexual reproductive health and rights. The program seeks to contribute to a reduction in teenage pregnancies through supporting increased access and utilization of sexual reproductive health and family planning information and services by adolescents. The implementation of the program will, accordingly, be led by line ministries including Health; Gender, Children and Social Protection; Education; Youth and Sports; and Internal Affairs. It will be in collaboration with the Planned Parenthood Association of Liberia (PPAL), Action Aid Liberia, Federation of LiberiaYouth (FLY), Inter–Religious Council of Liberia, National Traditional Council of Liberia and BRAC-Liberia.Speaking at the official launch on February 24 in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, the head of Development Cooperation and Chargé d’Affaires at the Swedish Embassy, Ms. Elisabeth Harleman, said adolescent girls and boys need access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health information and services, especially outside the urban areas, if there must be a reduction in the rate of teenage pregnancies in the country. According to Ms. Harleman, discussing sexuality for and with young girls and boys is still considered difficult, with few information, education and communication outlets involving young people themselves. “Sweden’s global experience from supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights shows that in order for young people to be able to take advantage of education and work, and to contribute to economic growth, young people must be given the opportunity free of coercion, violence, discrimination or the risk of becoming involuntarily pregnant or being infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections to have a responsible, satisfying and safe sexual life,” she said.She lauded local authorities, traditional leaders as well as key stakeholders from the four southeastern counties for their support for the program.On behalf of his colleagues, Grand Gedeh County Superintendent Peter L. Solo declared that local authorities would work collaboratively to ensure the reduction in teenage pregnancies in the southeastern region. “Our traditional and religious leaders will be the principal mechanisms that we will use to go into our communities to establish and reinforce the need for collaborative efforts in reducing teenage pregnancies in the region,” Superintendent Solo declared. He called on the youth to join the process of educating their peers – discouraging them against early pregnancy.“We must all sensitize the people and discourage teen pregnancies so that the girls can have a better education and fulfilled lives,” the Superintendent said.The launch followed a tour and the holding of inception meetings with a cross-section of traditional and local leaders and community members in the region. The meetings, which were led by the various line ministries, were aimed at understanding factors responsible for early pregnancies, barriers to SRH (sexual and reproductive health) by adolescents in the region as well as deriving local solutions to the issue. Among key issues identified by the people were: poor parental guidance and care; sexual abuse of adolescent girls by their teachers and influential community members; and the lack of sexuality education in schools and in the homes between parents and their children. They stressed the need for sexuality education in schools and the provision of family planning services with ease of access and the reinforcement of the justice system to punish perpetrators of violence against teenage girls and sex offenders, especially adults who impregnate underage girls. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Invest in the kids for success – Fowler

first_img0Shares0000(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today) “You can’t go to top level and fix it straight away. Football starts with kids. When you have good cultures and people who can teach the kids in the right way and get them to learn the basics of football, then that’s where you start,” Fowler said.He added; “Personally for me I learnt football from a very young age and sometimes you have to get the right people to help you through it. I was fortunate to have Ian Rush with me teaching me how to run, how to position myself and how to score.”Fowler was speaking on Friday morning on the second day of his visit to Kenya where he held a soccer clinic with kids from the Musa Otieno foundation.Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler with former Harambee Stars captain Musa Otieno during a football clinic organized by Barclays at the Camp Toyoyo Ground in Nairobi, Kenya on November 23, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“It is such a great thing to be here and to see these kids. It is all about them today. I am happy to see what the people responsible here are doing with the youths and me coming here basically is help impart that knowledge especially to the coaches because these are the people who will be responsible for shaping the future,” Fowler noted.Present during the clinic at the Camp Toyoyo Ground in Jericho was Football Kenya Federation chief Nick Mwendwa and Barclays Kenya boss Jeremy Awori.Mwendwa echoed Fowler’s comments, noting that the federation has put in measures to ensure the youth teams are active, picking up recent success by the Under-23 team which has progressed to the second round of qualification for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.“We have teams from Under-15 who are active and playing. Apart from that, we have invested in training of coaches countrywide to ensure this knowledge imparted on the young players is good knowledge,” Mwendwa noted.Meanwhile, Barclays boss Awori has hinted that talks are on with the Federation to explore avenues of partnering with view of sponsorship.Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler enjoys a game with players from the Musa Otieno foundation as Barclays Bank MD Jeremy Awori watches on during a football clinic organized by Barclays at the Camp Toyoyo Ground in Nairobi, Kenya on November 23, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“We are always looking for areas to support more and we have been talking with Nick on what are the opportunities. Personally I am passionate about youth and encouraging the next crop of players to come up,”“With Barclays shifting to Absa which has a strong history of supporting rugby as well, we will come with that passion and I will be pushing from my side to see what we can do,” noted Awori.Rush will on Saturday take part in an activation by sponsors Barclays Bank at the Two Rivers Mall and will be live on Capital FM’s sports show Saturday Music and Sports.On Sunday, he will be at the 24th edition of the Koroga Festival for his final social event of the visit. 0Shares0000Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler enjoys a kick-about with youngsters from the Musa Otieno foundation during a football clinic organized by Barclays at the Camp Toyoyo Ground in Nairobi, Kenya on November 23, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 23 – Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has insisted that the only way Kenyan and African football in general can scale the heights is if more insistence is put on developing the young kids from a tender age.Fowler who rose to become the sixth-all time top scorer of the English Premier League says that picking lessons from his growth at Merseyside, football players can only be made to live to their full potential if they are nurtured early.last_img read more