L.E.A.D is attending to five selected schools this year, dealing with sexual assault and harassment and educating boys and girls in high school on HIV, STI’s and Drug abuse. With the high rate of teenager’s exposure to pornography, domestic violence, sexual assault and high rate of youth involvement in drug abuse, we are faced with distracted young people only interested in corrupt and wayward activities. No wonder, Nigerian employers of labour has declared youth unemployable. The reason cannot be farfetched from the fact that youths has lost focused, placing the cart before the horse right from their teen years.
We are therefore intercepting this flow with sexual health education, career development, counseling support and drug prevention intervention as they move through the high school and to the higher institution. We would be arming them with tools that will help them overcome peer pressure and be more responsible for their decisions which are very important to their wellbeing.
Gender RIDE has its aspect of Sexual Health Education and Primary Prevention Guide for teenagers and young adults tagged “KNOW RIGHT, ACT RIGHT”.
About 16 million teenagers give birth every year, 95% of these births occurs in developing countries especially in Nigeria. Also, sexually active teenagers and young Adults are accounted for more than 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses in 2014 and by the end of 2012, 44% of them will be living with HIV. This problem is significantly true because sexual and reproductive health education is inadequate due to lack or no of parents’ guidance during the development stage of the child, nonchalant and negative attitude of teachers and health workers towards adolescence sexual and reproductive health knowledge and misconception of sex and the consequences of sexually risky behaviors from the Media.
In addition, Drugs and substance abuse compounds cases of HIV spread in an obvious way because young boys and girls who abuse drugs don’t care where the syringe they use in injecting the substance is coming from, they just inject it and in a couple of minutes pass it around themselves. This is the fastest way to spread the diseases not just AIDS even the STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). With the recent statistics of both 40% of Nigerian youths involved in substance use, there is need to bring to their awareness the consequences of drug abuse and how its ills directly contributes to young people living unhealthy lives, increased spread of HIV, unwanted pregnancies.
Know right Act right is a Sexual reproductive health education and primary prevention programme for young people in high school and Tertiary institutions. It designed to empowering teenagers and young adults in handling their emotional and interpersonal relationships with responsibility through sexual and reproductive health education.
The second aspect of Gender RIDE is the activism against Gender Based Violence amongst children, teenagers and Young Adults tagged ‘BREAK THE SILENCE’
Silence has become a command many young girls obey in various facets of their life, even when no one has directly giving the order. In pain, anguish, assault even in cases of sexual assault and rape, many girls had to obey the silence command. Despite these sad experiences, very few people listen to them or help to fight their cause.
We believe that gender based violence will reduce drastically if cases are reported and properly investigated with appropriate measures of punishment for offenders of such crimes.
Break the silence is therefore designed to raise ambassadors that would stand against all forms of gender based violence and provide support for women and young girls who have become victims of gender based violence and reporting offenders to appropriate quarters.
About the Coordinator of Gender R.I.D.E
Kemi, the co-founder of Lead initiative is a peer educator trainer on behavioral change for prevention and reduction of new infections of HIV. She feels burdened at the high rate of teenage pregnancies, unhealthy abortions and STI, HIV/ AIDS.
Her passion fuelled her work as a Monitoring and Evaluation officer on the HIV/AIDS Programme Development Project Phase Two (HPDPII) which is aimed at reducing new infections of HIV and providing care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS implemented in 14 tertiary institutions across Ondo state.
She envisions healthy young people who take responsibility for their actions and whose choices and attitude towards sexual/emotional relations are influenced by the adequate knowledge of sexual and reproductive health