HSC MEDIA CLUB MEMBERS SPEAK TO YOUNG MOTHERS ABOUT RETURNING TO SCHOOL.
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High Sound for Children media clubs’ members have reached out to young mothers’ majority of whom conceived during the COVID 19 pandemic lockdown. The girls are among the over 6,888 young girls according to the United Nations Population Fund that conceived during the first six months of the COVID pandemic in Uganda and will not be returning to school. This is after government took a decision to close all schools as a control measure to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Stacy (Not real names) aged 15 who is now a mother conceived last year and does not know the whereabouts of her abuser. “He ran away as soon I told him I was pregnant. I have never seen him again even when I gave birth three weeks ago.” She told members of High Sound for Children Media club who had gone to interact with the young mothers and speak hope to them about returning to school. Stacy is willing to go back to school, but she cannot because her mother, a single mother of five is the sole bread winner and cannot stay back to look after the grandson. “I can’t sit home to baby sit the child because I have four other children that need school fees among other basic needs, I also have to pay rent. We don’t have an option; she won’t go back to school” She says. Her story is not any different from that of Angela (not real names), another teenager who is a mother to a six-month-old baby. Angela’s mother is willing to take her back to school, but she is scared about comments from her neighbors and fellow learners who have seen her pregnant. “I fear to be laughed at. My mum can’t afford a boarding school, I could have studied far away from home”. She told HSC. Many girls will not be returning to school despite the decision by government to allow pregnant girls study due to the bullying that comes with it from fellow learners, teachers, parents, and the members of the community while others were written off by their parents when they conceived. Members of the HSC Media clubs led by Paula Nakimuli (17) pledged to continue talking to fellow children on the need to return to school. “Please don’t give up, you can go back to school and finish, it is possible, don’t mind about what people say, defend your future”. Paula cried out to the girls. The children on behalf of High Sound for Children also delivered clothes and food stuffs to young mothers and children. Through the media clubs in schools, High Sound for Children empowers children to speak out on issues that concern them. The clubs are currently active in schools in Kampala and Wakiso districts.