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Sex education for primary schools

Vol. 2 No. 5 May 2008

•Know your rights •Stay in school •Wait to have sex

What protects them from HIV?
Welcome on the journey to Karamoja. This unique part of Uganda, is found in the northeast. It borders with Kenya and Sudan. Many good and bad things are said about Karamoja. But, did you know that a few Karimojong have HIV compared to other parts of the country?
Young Talk editors visited this region to find out what Young Talkers can learn from the Karimojong to avoid HIV. Also read about education in Karamoja, their work and culture. The Karimojong marriage culture In our culture, boys and girls do not marry early. It is the adults who marry. Sex before marriage is a taboo. When a young man of about 20 years or above wants to marry, he will identify a mature girl, usually above 18 years. He will negotiate with her parents for bride price, which A 13-year he pays and old boy, Jafari marries her. Lomeri of Rufe PS, Most men Moroto, sells sticks marry one for brushing teeth. wife. One can He uses the money marry another to buy some eats wife if his first at school. wife cannot give birth. But still he does not separate with her. Some men, with the help of their friends, still use force to have sex with girls. We do not recognise this practice as part of our cherished culture. Such men are told to pay a fine of goats or cows for using force, and told to marry the girl. Elder, Naduket, Moroto

What we learn from the Karimojong Culture
Delaying sex The Karimojong do not have early sex. They wait until they are above 18. Only adults can handle consequences of sex, like pregnancy. Delaying sex helps them avoid HIV too. No sex without marriage In Karamoja it is not about having sex. It is about marriage. When a boy who is above 18 years wants to have sex, he will marry. He will talk to his parents who will negotiate with the girl's parents for bride price. Some go ahead and rape the girls as a way or courtship. But cannot leave them. They marry the girls. As you grow, you may take on the culture of people around you. Look at what they do, pick out what is good for you, and avoid what can put your life in danger. Read on and find out what Karimojong Young Talkers do not like about their culture on Page 2.

What do you think about the Karimojong marriage culture? What do you learn from it? DISCUSS WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
NARY D I C T I Oto love or -


Region - Karamoja People – the Karimojong Language - Ng'akarimojong Population – about 1 million Districts – Moroto, Kotido, Nakapiripirit, Abim and Kaabong Children in school - about 100,000 Children out-of-school (6-12years) -about 120,000 Average age of marriage: 20 years

Cherish ething value som ence - result u Conse q ing meth nding of so ip -befrie Courtsh r marriage fo someone te - discuss gotia Ne eone with som

• Delaying sex protects you

from HIV

• Staying in school is


• Forced sex increases the

risk of getting HIV.



Young Talk, May 2008

What I like and do not like about my culture
I like singing
I like the way we sing, dance and dress. It is interesting. But I don’t like the way some of our people kill each other. It is evil. Odiambo Sara, 14, P7, Kasimeri PS, Moroto

Petty jobs
Many Karimojong children do small jobs to get money but some are risky.
Selling paraffin I used to sell paraffin at night in Moroto town. An old man came and asked me to go to his house and I refused. The following day he gave me money, I told him I did not want his money. He left and never came back. I value education and I want to stay in school. Florence Akilla, 14, P6, Child Jesus PS, Moroto

Can you Imagine? If Akello's sister wasn't married off, she would be at University now. Karamoja missed an educated girl who would help in developing it. You need to say NO to bad practices that make you drop out of school. Remember, rape puts both the rapist and the victim at a high risk of getting HIV. Rape is also a crime in the laws of Uganda.

I hate cattle raiding

There is a lot of stealing of cattle and other property. However, I love the way we dress and behave when we are young, but when we grow old, sometimes we misbehave. Ikilae Salume, 12, P7, Kasimeri PS, Moroto

Peace Akello
to rape her. She was married off. I thought this was wrong. She should have been allowed to finish her education. She would have become a better person in our society. Peace Akello, 9, P5, Child Jesus PS, Moroto

er D corn V/AIsky S have sex with HI ri to
It is very ou do not know y a person atus. Although ir HIV st people are the ung many yo me could have irgins, so with HIV. v been born

I hate rape

My sister dropped out of school two tears ago when she was in S6. Boys chased her and helped their friend

Education in Karamoja
Most children who go to school in Karamoja perform well especially during their S4 exams. But there are few children in school. If more children get educated, they can use the knowledge they get in school even to protect themselves more against HIV. Education is important. All my four children are in school. I regret not going to school. I cannot read what the health workers write on my medicine. Lomerer John, 40, Elder, Naduket Being at school is safe I escaped being raped by the warriors because I was at school. Two of my sisters who were at home were raped. Girl, 14, P7, Kasimeri PS Talk to your parents that you need to go to school. If you do not go to school, you may regret when you grow up. Being at school can save you from being raped, forced to marry or being killed by warriors.

My dad told me about the importance of education. I want doctor. to be a doctor. I like science. Children used to tease me because of my colour. I ignored them and they stopped. Now they like me because I am bright. I want to stay in school and fulfill my dream. Auma Olive, 13, P7, Child Jesus PS, Moroto

Many Karimojong ch love education. They ildren will help them and know it th families develop. Ed eir can also help them ucation ge knowledge on how t to avoid HIV. Encourag further e to stay in school by children tel them the benefits of ling education.

For teachers

Children carry jerrycans of alcohol. Such an activity puts girls at a risk of being raped by men who come to buy alcohol.
Land in Karamoja belongs to the whole community. Families live in organised homesteads called Manyatas. These include parents, children, uncles and cousins. Girls and boys sleep in separate huts. When a boy wants to get married, he constructs his own hut within the Manyata. A family can move to another place in search of pasture and water. They could also move because they have buried many relatives in that area.

How the Karimojong live

Key messages

•Some cultural d practices are good an are bad others ral •Copy only the cultu ct practices that prote you from HIV

An extended family of the Karimojong in their homestead called manyata

During holidays, I brew alcohol. My parents encourage me to do it. I did not like school but my mother forced me. But I made friends who encouraged me to read hard. So I now love school. I want to become a nurse and I leave the manyata life. One day warriors came and burnt our huts. All my books were burnt. At school I feel safe. Parents should send their children to school. With education, we can change our place for the better. Achiro Proscovia Lydia, 14, P7, Kasimeri PS, Moroto


Young Talk, May 2008


Welcome to part 3 of “Sara the Special Gift.”
In the last part, Sara was coming from fetching firewood. She was very tired but asked to go to her aunt’s place to help her with house chores.

In this part, Sara’s uncle and the chief are under the tree talking about the shortage of firewood in the village. Zingo is seated on the window. Sara is busy chopping vegetables but can hear what her uncle and the chief are saying. She is not happy with her uncle because he says firewood was a woman’s problem. But the chief wants to solve the firewood problem so he can get women’s votes as councilor.

The Special Gift
Meanwhile, uncle and the chief are deep into their conversation. So you see, everyone in the village... is very concerned about the shortage of firewood.

Surely that’s a problem for our women to solve. I don’t hear them complaining.

can do Both boys and girls house chores. g You can help in solvin e ag problems in your vill s about Talk to your guardian as your ide


Sara overhears her uncle and the chief talking. She is not amused with her uncle’s position

You are wrong my friend. Yesterday, a whole group of women came to see me on the problem.

Amuse – make one laugh or happy Chop – cut Councillor– representative n Contribution – something give listen in Overhear– Shortage – lack of something

A whole group! Ha! Ha!

Sara is not happy

It is more serious than you think. Don’t you want to be the new village councillor?

Of course! I believe I can make my own small contribution to my community I’m sure you will. I must be off now.

Oh...I see.

Well...erm..of course. I will give the matter my serious attention. I’m sure I will find the answer.

Good of you to come. I’ll be giving you my ideas soon.

Yes, you could- but what the women were saying is that they will vote for somebody with practical skills. Someone who can help us solve the firewood problem.

But I’m sure you can do that. You are such a practical man


la P.O. B0X 22366 Kampa
I have just started my menstruation, I am worried the bleeding will reduce my lifespan, what can I do? Dorothy N, 15, P7, Kiboga UWESO PS, Kiboga Dorothy, do not be worried. Menstruation will not reduce your life span. Your body is able to produce enough blood to keep you alive. When you grow up you can even donate blood and still remain normal. This means a normal grown up person has more than enough blood. Menstruation is natural and the body is already prepared for it. Is it true that if you wash you vagina with soap it will itch? Chebet S, 13, P7, St. Mary’s girls’ PS, Nakapiripirit Some types of soap can cause itching if you use them to wash your vagina. Soap should therefore be avoided when cleaning private parts. The vagina cleans itself. That is how God has created it to work. You just need to use clean water. To avoid infection, first wash your hands before washing the vagina. What happens if you marry a man who is a virgin and you are also a virgin? Akello C, 14, P6, Child Jesus PS, Moroto Both of you will feel good and enjoy your marriage. Virgins are also less likely to have STDs, so you will have peace of mind. But virgins also need to test for HIV before they get married. Children can get HIV from their parents. Otherwise, it is good to be a virgin. How good or bad is abortion? Ayiyorwoth D, 15, P7, Pulum Alala PS, Nebbi Abortion is illegal in Uganda. You can be sent to prison. It is also very dangerous. You can get infections, over bleed and even die. You can lose your uterus/womb and fail to have children in future. Girls who abort take long to recover from the bad feeling they get after doing it. Only doctors can carry out abortion if the life of a mother is in danger. Delay sex to avoid early and unwanted pregnancy. This will also help you avoid abortion. Is it true that big breasts are a sign of being sexually active? Susan N, 16, P7, St. Mary’s girls’ PS, Nakapiripirit Susan, it is not true. Some girls naturally have big breasts and some have small ones, just like some people are short and others tall, thin or fat. All types of breasts are normal. Tell your friends also not to feel bad about the size of their breasts. My friend says if I have sex when I am in my menstruation, I will not get HIV, is it true? KR, 15, P7, Balyanika PS, Kamwenge It is not true dear. Instead, it is more risky to have sex during menstruation. HIV is found in blood and sexual fluids. Also, when you are menstruating, your uterus is open and very soft. This makes it easier even for HIV to enter your body. Do not risk. Delay sex and when you grow up you can test for HIV with your marriage partner.


infected blood or have sex with an infected person without a condom, you are at a very high risk of getting the virus as well. I am sure at your age, you have other important things to think about like your education. So, keep delaying sex and read your books. A family friend always asks me for sex whenever my parents send me to his home. What can I tell him? Tiko D, 13, P7, Kayonza PS, Kayunga Tell your parents about it so that they can talk stop sending you to his home. That man wants to defile you, which is a crime. Be firm and tell him “No”. Also be aware of the dangers of having early sex, like early pregnancy or STDs. Assure him that friendship does not mean sex.

Reading Young Talk is fun and educative. Pupils of St. Mary's girls' PS, Nakapiripirit

My friends tells me that if I have sex, I will never get cervical cancer, yet I do not want to lose my virginity, what can I do? Yifoke R, 14, P7, Kayonza PS, Kayunga Yikofe, thank you for keeping your virginity. Virginity does not cause cervical cancer. Instead, when you start having sex at an early age, you increase the chances of suffering from cervical cancer later in life. Say “NO” to your friends and pass this message to them. Why do some girls have sex many times and they do not get pregnant? Mugoya Y, 12, P5, Hasoko Comprehensive PS, Bugiri Mugoya, how sure are you that those girls have sex? They could be deceiving you. Most young girls in Uganda are keeping their virginity. Do not believe in such information. Keep your virginity and delay sex until you are an adult who can make better decisions. If a girl has big breasts, does it mean she is ready for marriage? Consolate A, P6, Child Jesus PS, Moroto Consolate, that is not true. Marriage is about maturity in body and mind. It is also being prepared financially and socially for a family. It has nothing to do with breasts. Some young girls have big breasts yet they are still in school and also their bodies are not ready for marriage and child bearing. Girls with big breasts should not worry. Feel happy about your breasts because they are normal.

Proud to be in school and staying safe: Pupils of Kasimeri PS, Moroto

Young Pupils of Child Jesus PS, Moroto reading Young Talk. They say it teaches them to remain virgins. My father has money but he said he will not pay my fees after P7, what can I do? NH, 12, P7, Nkokonjeru PS, Luwero It is sad that your father doesn’t want to pay your fees. Maybe he does not value education. Or it could be due to culture which discourages girls' education. Talk to him about your dreams and how you need his support to achieve them. You can also talk to other people who can talk to your father. This may be people like LCs, aunties, uncles or church leaders on your area. If all these do not work out, you may report to police. Keep your hopes high. Never give up. Remember, you have a right to education and your father has the responsibility to pay your school fees. My friend woke up when her bed sheets were wet. She asked the teacher who told her it was a wet dream. What caused it? Shemsa S, 13, KY PS, Masaka Girls do not experience wet dreams. Only boys get wet dreams and it starts when they start adolescence. Your friend may have urinated on the bed. So she should not worry at all. It is normal. That will stop. Taking little fluids or water when going to bed may also help. Can I get HIV by having sex only once? Chemtai L, 15, P7, Kaminy PS, Kaphorwa Yes. Once you get in contact with

Henry Nsubuga, Counsellor, Straight Talk Foundation

Dictionary: An abnormal ncer

Cervical ca opening of the cervix. If e growth at th rly, it can cause death. not treated ea riod of time that pe Life-span: es someone is livsubstance that helps Nutrient: a people to grow

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