A VIABLE RESOURCE FOR SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH EDUCATION FOR SCHOOLS IN VIHIGA COUNTY
Halima Ishmael is my name and a member of Vihiga Interfaith Network, and a sexual and reproductive health educator. I visit learning centers such as secondary and technical schools in the area to pass messages aimed at behavior change and life skills with ultimate aim of curbing early pregnancies and HIV infections among teenagers. Am a trained F4L trainer who has been utilizing the knowledge and skills gained to blend faith teachings and sexual and reproductive health messages.
This has worked miracles, I conduct school visits to educate the students on sexuality, life skills and offer them guidance and counseling. Through this initiative, more students are aware of issues of Sexuality, Reproductive health and are empowered to take appropriate life decisions. My initiatives have led to decrease in incidences of child pregnancies. “I not only conduct school visits to promote health issues, but also in the past conducted door to door campaign to encourage community members to go to health centers to utilize health care…before people used to self-medicate…But now I have seen changes, more and more are going to hospitals, especially mothers, more so pregnant mothers who have been a cause of concern and target group in the sensitization campaign”. Though I am a Muslim, through this interfaith, I have been working closely with the chaplain of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) who gives me a lot of support in this initiative. According to me, through this initiative on sexual and reproductive health, I have not only managed to address health concerns, but also foster interfaith cooperation, and therefore better interfaith relations”
Faith for Life trainings are offered to congregational leaders, and are expected to have cascading power, spiraling down to the congregational members my story is that of success of the faith for life initiative and a story of hope for a healthier community.