10 Sep 2017 11:20am
REHOBOTH, 10 SEP (NAMPA) First Lady Monica Geingos on Saturday took her #BeFree campaign to Rehoboth in the Hardap Region, where learners from various schools gathered to discuss sexual reproductive health issues.
The event included a panel discussion aimed at informing the youth of the trials they face and also to empower them with information to be the 'masters of their fortune.'
As the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) Special Advocate for Young Women and Adolescent Girls, Geingos continues to roll out the #BeFree Movement to all the regions.
The movement is focused on the youth, their parents, life skills teachers, and other frontline service providers such as police officers, health professionals, pastors and social workers.
During her speech, Geingos encouraged those in attendance to actively engage in sexual reproductive health issues.
Young people should not have to suffer in silence, but find someone they can speak to about what they are going through. Young people must be free to make informed decisions about their lives, she said.
The First Lady further said parents and teachers should keep emotions intact in order for young people to feel free and talk about issues they need guidance on.
Young peoples engagement is key to achieving the Start Free, Stay Free, Aids Free targets and ending Aids in Namibia by 2030, said Geingos.
A young woman who became a mother while in school said teenage pregnancy among girls should not be seen as a life sentence, but rather as a learning curve to become relevant in life.
A panel discussion was also held to discuss the effects of alcohol and drug abuse, teenage pregnancies and social media.
Hardap Governor Esme Isaack said parental involvement is needed to guide children in the right direction and reduce drug and alcohol abuse, which also lead to school drop-outs.
Students with parents who are involved tend to have fewer behavioural problems and better academic performance, and are more likely to complete high school than students whose parents are not involved in their education, Isaack said.
The First Lady took part in a fun walk prior to the discussions.