The Youth Hub, which is a project under the Livelihood program of the Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum, (UYAHF) on August 16th and 23rd organized a series of fun-filled activities convening a number of energetic youths from Kampala and beyond. The youth hub aims to create a safe space for recreation, skilling and learning for adolescents and young people.

These very engaging, informative and participatory sessions involved activities, which were unified under the theme,”ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FAMILY PLANNING” Included: the family planning quiz, a panel dialogue and discussion involving youth leaders, a family planning choices-game, and so much more all aimed to empower the youth on family planning and to break popular myths around the subject.

One of the key areas of concern was the accessibility of the materials by the youth. During the panel, Siperia Mollie, the GRC Makerere University stressed that the fact that teenagers and the youth are having sex, she argued that treating it as a taboo will not change the habit, but instead information and family planning materials should be made readily available.

“Parents should stop looking at sex and family planning as taboos, they should openly talk about it because these children will still have sex even when they try to make it look alien to them,” says Siperia Mollie.

Sipera Mollie, GRC Makerere University during the panel discussion

Aloysius Segawa, the Gender Minister-Kyambogo University noted that the youths who cannot abstain and are having sex should talk about family planning methods that are most convenient to them. He added that this reduces the risk of unwanted and unplanned pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

The matter on abortion was deeply debated; with the majority supporting the notion.

“In Uganda, the only exception for abortion under the law is when there is a risk of death to the mother during childbirth, so this means rape victims, cases of incest all cannot exercise their rights to have or not have a child after rape.  So, the criteria should be increased or the whole thing should be made legal” says Kirabo Marion, Gender and Ethics Minister Makerere University.

After the discussion, and as has been the norm, the hub turned into a fun-filled space for the youth.

Some of the participants determined to promote family planning

There was a family planning quiz, which aimed at sensitizing participants about the different family planning methods. Participants were divided into three groups as they battled to be the family planning quiz champion.

On the other hand, the family planning choices game was designed to take participants on a journey of life involving safe sex choices, abstaining, and involving parents in sexuality matters involving their children.

Written by: Hans Patrick Mulindwa the UYAHF Change Champion