On August 12 every year the world celebrates International Youth Day.
This year, youths in Kibera celebrated the day by holding discussions on how climate change affects their Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
The theme of the event was ‘Empowering Youth for Sustainable Futures through Green Skills and SRHR’.
The Center for the Study of Adolescence (CSA) hosted the bringing together different Community-Based Organisations (CBO) founded by youths from the area.
“Our agenda was to create awareness on SRHR which is our co-mandate. Apart from that, we wanted to have discussions on how SRHR and climate change interlink,” said Jane Nyanjom, CSA’s Advocacy Officer.
“When we are talking of green skills, we mean sustainability, recycling and having knowledge of the daily activities that degrade the environment.”
A majority of the CBOs present focus on SRHR and climate change related issues including sharing green skills with fellow youths.
The panel discussion majored on how climate change affects the sexual and reproductive health of the residents.
The panellists said that floods expose people to contaminated water which endangers their reproductive health if they happen to use it for domestic consumption.
On the other end, droughts lead to the unavailability of food and water; hence many people are forced to turn to transactional sex for access to crucial commodities.
During the discussion, youths were advised to turn to recycled menstrual towels instead of the non-biodegradable and non-reusable ones in the race to save mother nature.
“Pads being disposed of is an example of environmental degradation,” added Nyanjom.
It emerged that there is a huge stigmatization of SRHR issues, which can be solved through open discussions with the older generation within the community.
From the discussion, it was concluded that one of the ways of creating awareness of SRHR issues is by addressing the assumption that young people are aware of sexual education and educating them instead.
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CSA is an organization that shares information on SRHR with the younger generation in order to create a safe space where they can seek help on the same.