News from Grace Wandia

June 8, 2015

Kenya Choice Clubs:

Reproductive health took front and center when Shiners High school held their third Choice Club meeting on June 20th 2015. According to Grace Wandia, Valvisions Program Coordinator in Kenya, the Choice Club members responded enthusiastically to the topic of the day entitled “My Body, My Mind” which provides teenage girls with factual information about the physical and psychological changes experienced by adolescents at the onset of puberty.

Ms. Wandia noted that most of their questions were about sex, contraceptives and STDs, promising that the club would host a gynecologist as a guest speaker in the future. “I now realize the urgency of giving our girls the right information at this time when they are curious and likely to get the wrong answers from sources like their friends, or silence to their questions from their parents,” Grace stated. “Therefore, I am arranging for a gynecologist to address these issues at the next club meeting. The doctor can also give private consultations if there is a need.”

After the meeting, several members said they were grateful to Valvisions for filling a ‘gap’ in their lives. “Our parents are shy and rarely discuss sexual matters; maybe they think we do not deserve to know,” Club President Irene Kipteng, 18, said. “We are teenagers (and) just because we want pertinent information does not mean we are going to engage in sexual behavior. I think having knowledge gives you the power to make the right decisions,” echoed Abigail Mutai, 16.

The club was meeting outdoors for the first time, and Ms. Wandia said that the outdoor setting contributed to the high spirits of the 40 participants. “It has been very cold and rainy lately,” Grace reported. “We took advantage of the sunny afternoon to sit outside.” Parts of Kenya experience a wet ‘winter’ at this time of the year.

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