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A journey of empowerment: Nurturing youth via age-appropriate human sexuality education

Health Opinion
 Book of sexual education. [Getty Images]

In the beating heart of Kenya, where the vibrant rhythm of life is carried by the energy of its youth, a transformative movement is underway—one that resonates with the very essence of humanity. It's a call for change, for knowledge, and above all, for empowerment.

Picture a world where young hearts are not just educated but nurtured, where their questions are met with compassionate answers, and where they are equipped to shape their own destinies. This is the vision that age-appropriate human sexuality education aspires to achieve.

In the bustling classrooms and serene corners of Kenya, a profound need exists to embrace the natural curiosity of our youth. It goes beyond textbooks and lectures; it's about incorporating the human touch into education. Amidst the laughter and dreams of our young minds lies the potential to provide them with more than just information—it's about imparting wisdom, empathy, and the ability to navigate the intricate tapestry of human relationships.

Envision a young soul on the brink of adulthood, learning not only the biological aspects of human sexuality but also the emotional intricacies that accompany it. Age-appropriate human sexuality education offers more than knowledge; it provides a compass, guiding them through the maze of emotions and teaching respect, consent, and self-awareness. It empowers them to make choices grounded in understanding, compassion, and admiration for themselves and others.

In the warm embrace of inclusive education, conversations flourish—conversations about consent, diverse identities, and breaking free from the shackles of stereotypes. Human sexuality education fosters a culture where every individual is respected for who they are, a culture that embraces diversity and nurtures acceptance. Age-appropriate Human Sexuality Education is the cornerstone of building a society where everyone feels valued, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

As our children embark on digital adventures, age-appropriate human sexuality education extends its guiding hand into the digital realm. It's about teaching them not just the do's and don'ts of online interactions but also the essence of respect and boundaries in the digital space. It's a defense that shields them from exploitation and empowers them to navigate the internet with knowledge and caution.

Beyond the confines of laws and regulations lies a promise—a promise of protection and well-being. By embracing age-appropriate human sexuality education in our schools and beyond, we fulfill our commitment to safeguarding every youth from harm and abuse. It's a promise that echoes in the hearts of our youth, assuring them that they are not alone in their journey toward understanding their identities and the world around them.

That's why I took the initiative to start an online petition, appealing to the National Assembly and the Ministry of Education, urging them to grant access to age-appropriate human sexuality education both for school and out-of-school programmes. It’s a call to every Kenyan including our members of parliament and Ministers to support this transformative shift. It’s not just signing a petition; it’s a gesture of solidarity where we all extend a hand of compassion to every single youth. Let us stand as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path for our youth with understanding and empathy. Let our collective voices be the echo that reverberates within the halls, bringing a wave of change that empowers, enlightens, and embraces the human spirit. Together, let us nurture an informed and genuinely empowered society—one that embodies the values of recognition and empathy.

Ermiya Males is a youth Advocate in the field of reproductive health and a change leader with Nguvu Collective.

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