Reducing Adolescent Pregnancy (RAP) in the Era of COVID-19

Pregnancy is one of the main reasons adolescent girls do not return to school.

With students out of school due to COVID-19, there has been an increase in sexual activity and teenage pregnancy, which puts girls at a higher risk of contracting an STD, leading to physical and mental health risks.

Kenya

HIV prevalence in Kisumu, Kenya is 3.4 times higher than the national prevalence at 19.9%.

Malawi

Young people ages 15 to 24 years old make up about one-third of all new HIV infections in Malawi.

WCI partnered with Winam Green Ventures (WGV), a nonprofit organization based in Kenya, to implement our RAP initiative in Kisumu, Kenya for a four week-long pilot program. Through our joint effort, WCI and WGV worked to ensure that more girls will return to school in the future. As of January, 2021, four months after our RAP pilot program in Kenya, all 60 participants from our pilot program have prevented pregnancy, remained healthy, and returned to school safely.

Now, we are bringing our RAP program to Malawi through the U.S. Department of State's Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund, which our Director of Programs and Operations, Brynn, received with Temwa Chirembo, a Mandela Washington Fellow and co-founder of Ukani Malawi. Between March and April, approximately 90 girls in the city of Blantyre and the township of Balaka in Malawi will participate in our RAP workshops. In partnership with TraumaVenture, a Philadelphia-based social impact organization, participants will also learn about mental health and wellbeing.

Our RAP initiative covers four main themes:

Pregnancy and STD Prevention

Before RAP, less than a quarter of participants understood the purpose of contraceptives. As a result of the RAP workshops, 96.5% of participants now understand a variety of pregnancy prevention methods. Additionally, the girls learned how STDs are transmitted and received condoms for protection.

COVID-19 Safety and Information

Participants learned how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and received reusable masks, hand soap, and hand sanitizer to protect themselves and others in their communities.  

“I learned that we should not stigmatize people with COVID-19 but instead show them love and do what I can to protect myself.”

Menstruation and Reproductive Health

Participants learned about the female reproductive system and menstruation. Before RAP, zero participants had enough menstrual hygiene products to last through their next cycle. After RAP, 100% of participants had enough pads to last through their next cycle.

Safe Sex Education

The girls learned about consent and creating personal boundaries so they can maintain healthy interpersonal relationships.

"I learned that I have the right to create limits for myself, in all relationships."

Our RAP initiative covers four main themes:

Pregnancy and STD Prevention

Before RAP, less than a quarter of participants understood the purpose of contraceptives. As a result of the RAP workshops, 96.5% of participants now understand a variety of pregnancy prevention methods. Additionally, the girls learned how STDs are transmitted and received condoms for protection.

COVID-19 Safety and Information

Participants learned how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and received reusable masks, hand soap, and hand sanitizer to protect themselves and others in their communities.  

“I learned that we should not stigmatize people with COVID-19 but instead show them love and do what I can to protect myself.”

Menstruation and Reproductive Health

Participants learned about the female reproductive system and menstruation. Before RAP, zero participants had enough menstrual hygiene products to last through their next cycle. After RAP, 100% of participants had enough pads to last through their next cycle.

Safe Sex Education

The girls learned about consent and creating personal boundaries so they can maintain healthy interpersonal relationships.

"I learned that I have the right to create limits for myself, in all relationships."

As a result of the RAP initiative, 100% of our Kenyan participants — compared to 15.75% pre-RAP — are now aware of organizations in their community where they can find support.

Through a Training-of-Trainers (ToT) model, WCI ensures that every program is culturally relevant and builds local leadership capacity. Our trainers not only gain the skills to conduct workshops, but are also able to integrate lessons with a refined local knowledge of the needs and resources in their communities.

Read more about our pilot program in Kenya here.

Every investment will help ensure that more girls can return to school after this pandemic.

Make a donation today to help ensure that more girls stay healthy and return to school.

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Every investment will help ensure that more girls can return to school after this pandemic.

Every contribution makes a difference!

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