Namutumba, Uganda — In a bid to continue spreading the message about teenage pregnancies and sexual violence against children, ActionAid International Uganda embarked on a one-week campaign in Namutumba where they did painting and art in schools with messages of advocacy.
Annet Catherine Akol, the facilitator of creative arts and activism ActionAid said that they chose this kind of messaging because it is the safest place where young girls can interact with what they need to know.
“I came up with this idea 3 years ago after a young girl was defiled by the teacher. She couldn’t report but when she tried. She couldn’t explain it. So, she drew pictures to explain what had happened. That is when I realized that we could use art to send these advocacy messages,” she said.
The campaign was done in five different schools in different sub-counties of Namutumba district.
Eunice Kawuma, a 14-year-old pupil at Budwapa primary school, one of the schools where this campaign was done said that she liked the campaign because the paintings speak to them and explain what they need to know.
“I have heard about teenage pregnancies and sexual violence against children on the radio, but that is once in a while. With these paintings on the walls, I keep reading the message and not forget it.”
Aisha Kisembo, the district linkage officer of USAID thanked ActionAid for this initiative but also advised parents to take care of their children.
“ActionAid has put these messages on the wall. They are good but I need parents to get more involved in their children’s lives to protect them.”
“Parents should build relationships with their children. It is a long holiday and instead of sending them to go hawking, let them be involved in household activities. It is dangerous for young girls to be on the streets.”
Namutumba is one of the districts where teenage pregnancies and early childhood marriage happen a lot more. 8 out of 10 girls are married off before their 18th birthday.