Nam teen issues require multi-sectional approach
By Lahja Nashuuta
Windhoek – Namibia’s First Lady Monica Geingos has pinpointed lack of parental involvement, insecurity, lack of self-confidence, alcohol and drugs abuse, as well as sugar mummies and sugar daddies as some of the major contributing factors leading to teenage pregnancies and escalating HIV infections among young people.
She said this while addressing a Stay Free Campaign gathering organised by her office at Rocky Crest Secondary School on Saturday where learners and parents were engaged by experts from different spheres on a number of issues affecting them.
The topics for the discussion included adolescent sexual behaviour, lack of and over involvement by parents in the lives of adolescents, cyber bullying, and behavioural problems. The panelists included a psychologist, a police officer, learners, a registered nurse and a life skills teacher.
Geingos, who is also UNAIDS special advocate for young women and adolescent girls, launched the Stay Free and Aids Free campaign in 2016. It is aimed at providing young people with information, knowledge and tools needed to transition into adulthood. She have been visiting schools and engaging young people at clubs and play grounds and other places where young people would be comfortable talking about the challenges they face growing up and current problems they face.
Geingos said through the outreach programme to the country’s regions, she has discover that all issues facing young people are similar and need a multi-sectional response to find an amicable solution.
“In all regions we visited, we were informed the issue of drugs and alcohol abuse, bad friends, gossip, bullying, lack of parental care, poverty, lack of moral support, and cyber bullying are the major contributing factors to HIV/Aids, teenage pregnancies, low pass rates and school dropouts, presenting major challenges to our young people in this country,” Geingos said.
However, Geingos excluded the town of Rehoboth, where she said the issue of satanism and devil worshipping was unique, and Ongwediva where young people complained of witchcraft, a situation hard to handle without the involvement of religious leaders.
Geingos said at the conclusion of the outreach programme to the regions, a report would be compiled with recommendations to be shared with relevant stakeholders. Apart from that, her office was busy finalising a project on parental care to strengthen the capacity of parents when it comes to parental involvement.