By Dorathy Aninge
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has trained some youths from Angwan Jukun Community in Makurdi, Benue State on Age Appropriate Sexuality Education.
Speaking at the close of the two-day training on Saturday in Makurdi, Mr Steve Aborishade, the Advocacy and Marketing Manager of the foundation in Nigeria, said that the training was aimed at addressing sexually transmitted diseases in community.
Aborishade said that the exercise was in collaboration with Education as a Vaccine (EVA).
“Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) can contribute to reducing HIV, STIs, and pregnancies among adolescents and young people.
”This training will empower them with the information and skills to make meaningful and informed choices that can protect them from abuse, exploitation, and infections.”he said.
Aborishade said the exercise would also address rising incidences of unintended pregnancies and abortion among young girls and its attendant consequences.
He attributed promiscuity by young people to the high poverty level of most parents, which makes the children vulnerable as they try to make ends meet.
“Most of these girls date older men for the money, whereas these men have other sexual partners which makes them prone to infections from unprotected sex.
“This intervention can empower adolescents and young persons to negotiate safe sex or abstain from sex,” Steve said.
He explained that the trained youth would serve as champions of Age Appropriate Comprehensive Sexual Education in the community.
He also said that AHF and its partners would work with the participants individually toward achieving the desired goals.
Aborishade also said that each participant was expected to train 12 persons in a group and work with them to cascade the knowledge down to other young people in the community.
One of the participants, Miss Catherine Sunday, 27, thanked the foundation for impacting them with the appropriate knowledge on sexuality.
She said that the training had improved her self confidence to talk about issues concerning sexuality to her friends.
She noted the high rate of abortion, unplanned pregnancy, sexual abuse and rape in the community, and expressed confidence that the training would help to change the narrativesl.
Another participant, Miss Salamatu Abdullahi, 16, said that the training had exposed her to what with her parents or teachers couldn’t teach at home or in school.
Abdullahi, who said her friend dropped put of school owing to unwanted pregnancy, promised to cascade the knowledge she acquired from the training to other young people in the community.
She thanked AHF for putting up such a programme and promised to keep her own part of the bargain by educating her peers about sex and sexuality.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the foundation alongside its partners, recently inaugurated a Community Committee on Comprehensive Age Appropriate Sexuality Education in the community.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Polycarp Auta and Isaac Ukpoju